To succeed at flower photography, you won’t need any fancy equipment, but you will need to pay attention to detail. Learning how to take sharp, crisp beautiful pictures of flowers like the ones we see in garden catalogs and magazines is really pretty easy with a digital compact, and this article shows you how.
Many of us have taken a picture of a flower and thought it was perfect – that is until we saw it enlarged or on a computer screen.
Another problem many new flower photographer enthusiasts find is that their pictures come out blurry and out of focus.
These are all things that are easy to avoid.
The first thing to do is plan to take your flower pictures when the lighting is good and the wind is still. Even the most gentle breeze can cause enough of a quiver in the stem to create blur in a close up. Usually dawn is the best time of day when the wind is the calmest. This is also a time when you’ll often find the best lighting.
But if you’re not an early bird, you can still catch that perfect flower shot. Other good times for lighting are the hour before sunset and anytime there is high overcast (bright overcast). These times provide soft light without the harsh shadows. The times just after dawn and before sunset add a warm glow. And if it’s always breezy, set up a blind or makeshift windbreak.
The other main cause of blurry or out of focus flower pictures is the camera, more specifically taking a close up without the proper setting. Depending on how close of a shot you want, set your camera to Portrait or Macro. The latter allows you to shoot from within one inch to a foot (check the camera’s manual). If using manual settings, choose a wide aperture (small F-stop number). All of the settings just discussed will make the flower more sharply focused but will make the background more fuzzy.
Once you find a pretty flower, now it’s time to turn it into the perfect flower photo.
- Look for a flower with pristine undamaged petals. Or if you find a flower that’s almost perfect, except for a ragged petal or two, simply remove them. If removing the petals will leave a gap then leave it alone and move on to another flower.
- Look for anything on the flower than could distract from the picture like tiny bugs or pieces of dirt and gently remove them with a soft paintbrush or makeup brush.
- For a moist look, gently spray or mist the petals with a little water.
Next it’s time to compose your picture.
- Look at the flower from different positions to see what angle looks best in your viewfinder or preview LCD. You might see a shadow that is pleasing – or not so pleasing. Look at how the light looks from different angles. Also look at the flower from various vantage points. Try lying on the ground for a bug’s eye view or holding the camera high above the flower for a bird’s eye view.
- Don’t cast a shadow over the flower. If the flower is backlit, you can avoid lens flare by wearing a broad brim hat or by using a lens shade to block light from entering the lens.
- Also look at the tones in the background. Contrasting tones will make your image pop.
Once you find the best angle to take the flower, fill the viewfinder with the flower and use classic composition methods like the “rule of thirds” to position the flower in the best position in the camera frame.
Once you have your picture composed how you want, focus on the part of the flower that you want to be the most focused. Then keeping super steady, press the shutter down.
As you can see from the tips in this article, flower photography is all about paying attention to detail. And how you display your flower photo also makes a difference so make sure to display it in a picture frame that compliments it. When framing your flower picture, avoid highly decorative frames like flower picture frames or bright colors like pink picture frames that will overpower your flower photo. Instead, choose a frame that subtly accents the flower and you’ll be sure to have a framed flower picture that everyone will admire.