So you love flowers but you’re finding it hard to capture the beauty of the flowers when you photograph them? I’ve got you covered! Below are my top five tips for better photos of flowers outdoors, in gardens and in nature.
BTW I took the following photographs at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Maryland. I’d love to go again this year, I think the flowers bloom in July. If you’d like to go with me, shoot me an email! I’d love to get a small group of people together!
Tips for Better Photos of Flowers
1. Isolate Your Subject.
You want your subject to pop out of the image, to be obvious to everyone who looks at it. One way to isolate your subject is to blur the background. If you have a smartphone, try using portrait mode, and if you have a DSLR, try using a low aperture like f2.8 or f1.8.
You can also isolate your subject by changing your point of view, so that the subject is framed by a contrasting color. When I photographed the sunflower from a low perspective, I was able to use the sky as a background. When I stood on a ladder, I was able to use the greenery as a background.
2. Focus on Details.
Really study the flower for a while. Notice where your attention goes. What do you find interesting about the flower? What are some details you notice that might be invisible to someone who is just glancing at the sunflower? Get close and try to emphasize those details. Pay attention to line, texture, pattern, and color.
3. Watch the light.
Some photographers only like to take photographs during the “Golden Hour”, or the hour before sunset when the light is soft, warm, and directional. Others will get up at the crack of dawn so they can take their perfect photos when the sun is coming up.
As a portrait photographer, I’ve had to learn to shoot in all kinds of light. And I strongly believe that you can take interesting and beautiful pictures in all kinds of light! Light has personality. Backlighting gives you glowing colors, overcast skies give you muted, soft colors, and bright sun gives you vibrant, cheerful colors. Light may be gentle or dramatic.
Try not to judge the light. Study it, and see how it changes your subject as you walk around it. Take photos when the light changes in a way that interests you.
4. Highlight Symmetry.
Nature has so much natural symmetry, and I love to incorporate symmetry into my flower photography.
On windy days play with shutter speeds and capture the movement of the flowers. Deliberately take impressionistic photos by turning off autofocus and taking some blurry images. Spray water on flowers to create a little dew. Bring a white or black foam core board and have someone hold it behind a flower so you can take a studio type image.
Finally, this last tip may not really seem like it goes under tips for better photos of flowers but if you do this consistently it will pay dividends!
When you get home and look at your photographs, notice what you like and what you don’t like. I recommend jotting down a few notes in a notebook about your photoshoot. What was the weather like, and where did you go? What did you try? Which were your favorite photos and why? Which were your least favorite photos and why? What could you have done to make the photos better? What do you want to try next time?
I hope these tips for taking better photos of flowers help you capture the beauty of the flowers around you! If you try any of them I’d love to see some of your photos — tag me on Instagram!
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