Now that we’re into Spring and flowers are all around us, it’s an ideal time to try our hands at photographing flowers and gardens. Use these tips to improve your photography and capture some stunning images. Flower photography shows natures colours at their best, but we need to follow a few simple guidelines to ensure this translates in our images to produces great results.
Go by the motto ‘nature knows best’. Photographing a flower against a wall will produce a bland image. Rather, try and take the flower with a natural green background. If you look at a colour wheel you will see that most bright and vivid colours stand out with green as a background.
Get in close
Ideally, you would want to be shooting macro images with a macro lens. However, if you don’t have a macro lens there are other options. Don’t be afraid to use a zoom. When photographing flowers set your zoom to 50-100mm as this will compress the flower and make the petals appear closer. You could also try using extension tubes to get the desired result.
You may have to choose which part of the flower to be in focus, make sure it’s the flower not the leaves
Colour and white balance
Modern digital cameras will often correct colours as they assume the white balance is incorrect. If using an SLR record the image in RAW and fix the white balance using software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements or Adobe Lightroom. A simple trick is to hold a white card next to the flower and when processing use the card as a reference point for the software. If using a compact camera try using different white balance settings or using the camera scene mode set at cuisine/foliage and this will add saturatation to the colours.
The best time of day to take pictures of flowers is morning or just after rain. Don’t be afraid to cheat and gently spray the flower with water from a spray bottle. Lighting can be assisted by using a white card to reflect the sunlight – this will also help to stop wind blowing the flower around.