Flower photography allows you to capture the integrate details of flowers; with the right techniques, you can create stunning flower pictures that will take your breath away. This guide will teach you the basics of flower photography, from finding the right location to using the proper equipment.
Shooting Tips For Taking Pictures of Flowers
Look for a location with plenty of natural light
Flowers look their best in natural light, so find a spot where the sun is shining to help to bring out the colors of the flowers and create beautiful images.
Isolate the subject
One way to isolate the flower is to find a location with a plain background, such as a grassy field or a white wall. Another way is to use a macro lens to capture the flower up close, and blur out the background. You can also use a backdrop which can be as simple as construction paper or using backdrop boards. This will make the flower the focus of the photograph and create a more striking image.
Block the wind
You can block the wind with a flower clamp or positioning a backdrop to block the wind. This will help keep your flower photos from looking blurry and make it easier to stack multiple photos in post processing.
Capture More Than One Flower
Capturing multiple blooms in a single image adds interest and dimension to the photograph, and can make for a more striking composition. Try to find a flower arrangement that features different flowers, or capture a set of flowers during different stages of bloom.
Use A Wide Aperture
Using a wide aperture enables you to blur the background and create a shallow depth of field. You can also use a wide aperture to control the amount of light that enters the camera. A wider aperture will let in more light, which can be helpful in low-light situations.
Find The Best Flower
Don’t shoot the first flower you see and move on; take the time to find the best flower. Finding a flower with one or more of these elements will make your flower photography stand out from the rest.
- A flower in perfect condition
- Find a flower with a clean background.
- A flower with butterflies, insects, lizards, snails, or other garden guests.
- A clump of flowers in different stages of bloom to display the flower lifecycle
- Rain drops
Use A Squirt Bottle To Create Water Droplets
One way to add interest to your flower photography is to create water droplets on the flower petals. You can do this by using a squirt bottle. Simply squirt a little water onto the flower, and then wait for the drops to form.
Useful Equipment For Flower Photos
A macro lens allows you to get close to the flower and capture all of its intricate details. You can’t just use a wide-aperture lens; you need one with a short minimum focusing distance that allows you to get close to the subject. A true macro lens will also have magnification, which gives it the appearance of being closer.
When you’re shooting outdoor flowers, getting closer isn’t always an option, such as flowers in a pond or off the hiking trail. Telephoto lenses can capture those otherwise inaccessible blooms with as much detail and clarity as a macro lens. Insects are also easily frightened, which means you’ll have much better luck capturing insects using a longer focal length.
Experiment with different angles and compositions.
Some flower photos are more striking than others, and a big part of that has to do with the composition. Here are a few tips for creating beautiful flower compositions:
Try photographing the flower from different angles
Don’t always photograph flowers from the same angle. Experiment with different perspectives to see what works best. Sometimes it’s fun to get down on the ground and shoot from below, or to take a photo from directly above the flower.
Use surrounding elements to create a more interesting composition
Try using the plants or landscape around the flower as part of the composition. This can add perspective, provide a sense of location, and depth to your photo. You can also use other objects in the background, such as fences or buildings.
Fill The Frame
You can use a macro lens to get as close to the flower as possible to avoid distracting elements in the background. Another use of fill the frame is to crop the edges of the flower and get close enough to show off the details of the pedals, the pistil, or the stamen.
One technique for flower photography that can create a more minimalist look is to use a simple background and to fill the frame with the flower or using negative space. Removing any unnecessary elements will help to focus attention on the flower and will create a more simplistic image.
Complementary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. The contrast between these colors creates a striking effect. Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel and give a monochromatic and harmonious effect. Triadic colors are three colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel. Using these colors creates a vibrant, high-contrast photograph.
Texture and Patterns
Repeating textures and patterns can create a visual effect that is pleasing to the eye. Try to find flowers with contrasting textures, such as light colored petals with bright accents. You can also use a row of flowers or leaves that repeat themselves through the frame of your photo.
Finding Locations for Flower Pictures
One of the best ways to improve your flower photography is to take pictures often. Here are a few tips for finding amazing flowers to photograph:
Visit a garden
Botanical gardens, conservatories, and other types of public gardens are a great place to find beautiful flowers to photograph. There will be a variety of plants and flowers, and you can take your time experimenting with different compositions and angles.
Visit a park or nature reserve
Spring is the perfect time to explore local parks and see fields of native flower blooming. Bluebonnet and wildflower season is one of my favorite times to shoot in the Texas Hill Country.
Take a walk in your neighborhood
Take a walk around your neighborhood and you will find some beautiful flower in your neighbor’s gardens. I wouldn’t recommend walking up into their yard, but many people will have a flower beds at the edge of the sidewalk and those are the perfect photo opportunities.
Visit a Local Nursery
Nurseries have an amazing variety of flowers, and you can get up close and personal with the plants to take some amazing photos. Buy some plants and then you’ll have flowers in your own backyard to take pictures of.
Post Processing Images of Flowers
Use focus stacking For In Focus Flower Photos
One of the best ways to take flower pictures is by using focus stacking. This involves taking multiple shots of the flower at different focal points, and then combining them into a single image using Photoshop or other photo editing software. By doing this, you can ensure that all the details of the flower are in focus, from the petals to the center.
Use bracket exposure To create HD Flower Images
Bracket exposure is the practice of taking multiple shots of the flower at different exposures, and then combining them into a single image which helps reduce contrast from harsh light.
I have found the settings the camera thinks are ideal aren’t always the most interesting. Using bracket exposure also allows you to quickly capture normal, dark & moody, and light & airy shots with just one click. You don’t have to combine them to create stunning results.
General Adjustments To Flower Images
Editing flower photos can be a lot of fun, and there are a few things you can do to make your photos look even better. Here are a few tips:
- Increasing the contrast makes the light areas lighter and the dark areas darker; this can really make a flower pop, especially when you use black and white.
- Make the color temperature warmer to give them a dreamy look, or cooler for a more dramatic effect.
- Adjusting the saturation levels will help make your flower photos more colorful.
- Use the spot removal tool to edit out minor blemishes in the flowers.
- If needed, you can sharpen your flower photos to make them look crisper and more defined.
- Increase texture and clarity to emphasize important details that make flowers beautiful, such as veins in petals or leaves on a plant.
Flower photography can be a lot of fun, and by using some simple tips, you can capture the beauty of flowers in a way that is interesting and unique. Experiment and have fun.