© 2010 - 2012 Photography Art Cafe. All Rights Reserved.
Nature Photography Tips - Photographing Flowers
10 tips for beautiful flower pictures
Here are some top nature photography tips to help you create amazing pictures of flowers. Flower photography is popular for lots of reasons. Flowers look great of course, but they're also easy to find when you don't have time to go far on a shoot.
If you're in the mood for taking pictures but are pushed for time, just head into the garden or out of your front door a few paces, and flowers will make a great subject.
Flowers are versatile too, they can be approached in lots of different ways. Get creative with angles of view, focal lengths, lighting, locations and depths of field to produce beautiful flower pictures that will stand out from the crowd.
So, here are 10 picture taking tips for flower photography that will help you create some stunning images.
1. Attack it from all angles!
Whilst this goes for just about every subject, the shapes, colours and patterns of flowers can be best explored from a range of different angles of view.
Sometimes the light or the background colours will have an influence on this. But often it just comes down to what angle a flower looks most interesting from. A lot of the time getting down low and shooting flowers from underneath is really effective. It makes them look like impressive, tall structures rising up from the earth!
2. Use a narrow aperture
This blurs the background and helps focus the eye on the fine detail and intricate patterns and shapes of a flower.
Creating a contrast between crisp, sharp shapes and a hazy background is an excellent way to produce beautiful flower pictures.
3. Take black and white flower pictures
Black and white photos are awesome! One of my top nature photography tips is not to always focus on the amazing colours of the natural world.
You can take really beautiful flower pictures by focusing on the interesting, shapes, textures and patterns this subject offers. Monotone shots draw attention to form, texture, light and composition – the bare bones of an image. When it works it really works!
Here are some more detailed black and white picture taking tips to help you produce amazing black and white flower pictures.
4. Use a tripod
Using a tripod will help you to avoid camera shake. This is crucial since you want to be
sure that the in-focus areas of your pictures are really nice and crisp. Flower photography is often about capturing the beauty of delicate shapes, so keep things sharp.
I think using a tripod is one of the best nature photography tips because it gives you more freedom over exposure (slower shutter speeds become possible) and allows you to slow down and focus on your subject, creating the perfect composition.
Here are some picture taking tips on when to use tripods and what to look out for when choosing one to buy.
5. Don't shoot in clear daylight
Any subject is likely to look a bit boring if the light is pouring evenly on to it. Bright, clear daylight, spreading evenly over the flowers you are shooting will eliminate interesting contrast and shadows. Plus it has a tendency to burn out the colours a bit.
Unusually, flower photography is often good in overcast conditions where colours are given a rich warn tone. Pointing the camera towards the source of the light can also be effective, creating strong contrast.
6. Urban flowers
There's no need only to take garden flower pictures! In fact, one of my top nature photography tips in general would be to check out what urban environments have to offer. You’ll find wildlife - birds being the most prominent - and flowers growing in random places.
The contrast between hard, angular man made objects and delicate, colourful flowers is really effective. Look for little flowers spurting out of cracks in the pavement, emerging from brick walls, climbing up guttering or in any unexpected location.
7. Capture motion blur
Using a slow shutter speed to record the movement of flowers blowing in the wind can be really effective. It works best with flowers of a strong colour, like poppies, which give a smudge of red that looks really cool.
Choose a shutter speed that produces blur but doesn't distort the flowers to the point that they become totally shapeless and unidentifiable.
8. Use a macro lens
If you enjoy flower photography then it's worth putting a macro lens on your shopping list. It allows you to get really close up and capture the intricate details and textures of flowers.
Getting hold of a macro lens is one of my top nature photography tips because it opens up all the cool visual potential of the world at that microcosmic level. Flowers also offer the possibility of interesting abstract photos, made up of beautiful shapes, colours and textures, when shot with a macro lens.
9. Include flowers in still life pictures
Garden flower pictures are great - but don't limit yourself to only shooting flowers outdoors. Pick some interesting ones to feature as part of a collection of still life objects.
The contrast between something natural and other items like books or kitchenware is really great. Setting up a still life also allows you to fine tune the light to best capture the form and texture of flowers.
You could even focus on a flower as a minimalist image against a plain white background or sitting in a simple vase by a window.
10. Use flowers as the foreground for a landscape
I absolutely love flowers as the foreground for a wide angle landscape shot. Especially when shot from close to ground level, they seem to provide a whole little miniature landscape of shapes and colours by themselves. For some nature photography tips on taking good landscape pictures, click here.
Most landscape pictures need a good foreground to work, and a cluster of flowers gives the eye something of interest to settle on before continuing its journey into the scene beyond.
Here are some picture taking tips on the principles of photography composition to help you think about this a bit more.
I hope these nature photography tips come in useful! You may also be interested in my 10 top landscape photography tips.