32 Tips for Taking Better Flower Photos
1) Take photographs on bright, overcast days – avoid harsh sunlight.
2) Take photos early in the morning – the light is softer and warmer.
3) On bright, sunny days diffuse the sunlight or shoot in open shade.
4) On bright, sunny days try backlit photos (protect your eyes).
5) Try shooting silhouetted flowers, plants or trees against sunsets.
6) Use your camera’s ‘macro’ setting or a high ‘F-number’, such as F16.
7) Use a tripod or bean bag to keep your camera steady.
8) Use a tripod which allows you to splay its legs and get down low.
9) Foam mats and knee protectors make shooting flowers more comfortable.
10) Fill the frame with the flower – get close. Make the flower the focal point.
11) Don’t place the flower in the centre of the frame – offset the image (Rule of thirds).
12) Offset and insects in your frame (Rule of thirds).
13) Make sure your subject is in good condition, use perfect flowers.
14) Try different angles – e.g. the side of the flower, rather than above.
15) Photograph odd numbers of flowers, if you want to include several flowers in the frame i.e.
1, 3, 5. It looks better.
16) Avoid distracting backgrounds – look for muted colours, or complimentary coloured backgrounds.
17) Avoid white backgrounds; these draw your viewer’s eye away from the subject.
18) Take your own background e.g. black or dark green card, or better still – velvet.
19) Don’t use ordinary on-camera flash, switch it off.
20) Use a reflector such as a mirror, tin foil or white card to fill in shadows and add interesting light to your subject.
21) Avoid very, breezy days – your photos won’t be sharp.
22) Use a support to stabilise your subject if there is a breeze.
23) Shoot early in the morning, when there is usually less breeze.
24) If the breeze is a problem, try shooting in ‘Sports mode’ or in ‘Shutter Priority’ mode at 1/250th second or more, and use continuous shooting.
25) Alternatively, use the moving flowers to create and an abstract image e.g. use blur creatively.
26) Take photos indoors by placing the flowers on your window ledge (use a reflector to fill any shadows, or use the backlighting technique).
27) Try your camera’s ‘Cloudy White Balance’ setting – this adds warmth to your photos.
28) Use a small water sprayer to add ‘dew’ to your flowers.
29) Use a watering can to add ‘rain’ to your photos. Shoot in ‘Shutter Priority’ mode at around 1/125 or 1/60 second for good results. Use a timer or an assistant to sprinkle water onto the flowers. Use backlighting.
30) Try black and white or sepia shots for something different. Use editing software or your camera settings.
31) Print out your work: Make cards, framed pictures, canvas prints.
32) Learn about photography and flowers. Get inspired and have fun.
By: Mark S. Elliott
Better Photos – Digital Photography and DSLR Training UK