Tip Thursday: photographing flowers

Since it is spring, and a time when the flowers are a bloom, I thought a few tips on how to photograph them would be appropriate.

When you have just one or two flowers, such as Iris or gladioli, I like to isolate them from the background. Get down on the level of the plant and shoot straight on. Flowers tend to look the best from the side. I use a 100mm macro lens or a 70-200 to focus on just one plant and blur the background.

Click to see a larger version

In this photo I used the 100mm macro and positioned the camera with no other plants. By getting close this throws the rest out of focus.Here I used the 70-200 and the side of the building to create a background. I have also been known to use pieces of cardboard either painted or fabric covered as a background,

Do not go out in mid day sun to photograph. besides being hot the light is flat and harsh. either early or morning and try to use open shade. I have blocked the direct sun with either my body or a piece of cardboard.

Now, how about when presented with a sea of flowers or a field of wildflowers.

Most people tend to stand up, use a wide-angle, to get the most in the photo. Why not get lower and focus more on the front plants.In this example I was at a higher angle, to show the curve of the bed, I used a large aperture, f16, for maximum depth of field. and I got really close to the front plants and used a 20-35 lens. Notice how the line of the row draws your eye to the back and the fence.

Here I again got low, focused on the front plants and let the rest become a blur of color.Here I got low and shot upwards, this tends to make tall plants look taller. the inverse is if you shoot down, flowers and children look smaller. Note how once again the brighter, closer plants grab your eye and the line leads you upward.

Here again I got a little higher but allowed the line to draw your eye through the photo. Instead of shooting straight on I made a diagonal.

Here I got very close, focused on the front two flowers to make a virtual sea of color.

I hope this inspires you to try different angles and ideas for photographing flowers. There is no wrong way end the end it is to please your eye.


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