Spring and Summer offer a huge opportunity to get out there and take some great photos of flowers. The weather is nice (well hopefully!) and there’s lots of flower varieties to choose from. And whether it’s your own garden, a public garden, park or even by the side of the road there’s lots of places to go and practice. So here are 7 tips that I hope will help you take better photos of flowers, and let your flower photography grow…… (sorry!…. you know I had to!)
1. Why wont my camera focus?
Have you ever had that problem? You get nice and close to a lovely flower and your camera’s auto focus, well – wont focus.
There’s a minimal focusing distance on your lens and that’s why it wont focus. You’ll need to move back until the lens stops searching and focuses. If you want to get closer then you could use a zoom lens and zoom in. Or buy some extension tubes that’ll let you get closer (they fit between your lens and the camera body). Or if you fancy splashing a bit of cash then you could buy a macro lens (which can also double up as a nice portrait lens!).
2. Use a Tripod
If you want to get tack sharp (very sharp) images then you need to use a tripod to reduce any chance of camera shake. And a cable release or the self timer reduces that even further.
A lot of tripods go really low and splay out nicely to get the ‘get down low’ flower shot.
3. Some settings to start with
Here’s some settings to give you a starting point:
ISO as low as you can get it.
Use Aperture Priority mode
Shoot RAW so you’ve got more to work with later
I think it’s a good idea to try lots of different compositions, above, sideways, but I particularly like shooting low. I think it gives a perspective you don’t normally see.
5. Use a reflector
A great way to reduce any shadows on the flower. And cheap. Position some white card or cloth to throw some light (reflect) back onto the flower and get rid of the shadows, even wearing a white t-shirt could help!
6. Clear the background
If the background is ugly or a bit cluttered then use a bit of card to clean it up. Or maybe a bit of twine to pull another plant out of the way just while you take the shot (obviously without hurting the plant!). Another way is to use a large aperture (small number) and send the background out of focus.
7. Secret weapon…
A white umbrella.
If it’s a very sunny day you can use it as a diffuser to soften the harsh sunlight. It’s white so it’ll work well as a reflector. And last but not least, it’ll shield the flower from any wind. You’d be amazed how much a flower can move in just a light breeze. All in all the Swiss army knife of flower photography….
Now it’s over to you, have these tips helped you take better photos of flowers? What tricks and tips do you use?
Tell me in the comments…