5 Tips for Taking Stunning Flower Photos
Spring and summer offer countless opportunities to get outside to capture some of the floral beauty with your digital camera. You often don’t have to go far to find subjects bursting with color. In fact, gorgeous flowers may be as close as your front yard. Here are 5 tips for taking better flower photos even if you’re a newbie photographer.
1. Get up close and personal
Walking around a garden can be peaceful, but if you want your flower photos to really pop, change your perspective. Get down near the flower and use a macro lens or the macro mode on your camera if it has one. (Often the icon for the setting is a flower, which helps you remember when to use it.)
2. Consider lighting
Most people think that sunny days are best for taking flower photos, but actually harsh, bright sun can wash out the colors, so it’s better to take photos on overcast days or near sunrise or sunset.
Another great time to shoot flowers is right after a rain so you can capture raindrops on petals. (Or you can cheat and bring a spray bottle outside with you to get a similar effect.)
3. Change the background
A beautiful flower sometimes may grow in an unattractive place like an alley or scrubby vacant lot. If the background doesn’t work, you can bring your own. Photos of flowers on white or black backgrounds can be particularly striking. Take a big piece of cloth with you in your bag. This trick works well for photos of flowers indoors as well. If you receive a gorgeous flower arrangement, put it in front of a piece of black velvet to show it off.
4. Use a tripod and remote shutter release
Spending a lot of time at flower level can be tiring and hard on the knees, and it can be difficult to keep the camera still.
Also, it’s almost inevitable that while you’re sitting there, a little gust of wind will come up right when you take the photo. Any movement of the camera or the flower will lead to blurry photos, so if you have a tripod, set it next to the plant. For the sharpest photos, consider using a remote or cable release to capture the flower at exactly the right time.
5. Get creative with composition
Many times, placing the flower right in the middle of the frame can result in a less interesting image than if you place it off-center. Photographers often refer to the “rule of thirds.” Imagine breaking the image into thirds horizontally and vertically so you have nine sections. By placing your subject along the lines or the intersections, the composition often is more dynamic. You also might consider photographing just part of a flower, such as the petals or a bud.
Taking photographs of flowers is not only fun, it also forces you to examine and truly appreciate the intricacies of nature’s beauty. For more tips on taking great photos, read our post “Tips for Taking Amazing Landscape Photos.”