How to Photograph Flowers
The October heat is here and flowers are starting to bloom everywhere. It is surely the correct time to go outside with your camera and capture the beauty that unfolds around you after the heavy seasonal monsoon. For Non Professional photography enthusiast, it is very vital to understand how lighting, time of the day and depth of field will impact your photographs even when you have the right kind of equipment
To make your photography perfect for capturing certain flowers, due to their magnificent contours, colors and textures, photography guru’s claim that practice is inevitable to ensure the right image is captured at all times. Some tips and tricks are mentioned here to capture flower photographs where in nature or if they are delivered to you online.
What time of the day to shoot
It is important to understand what kind of effect you are looking at. For a softer, subtle effect, you need a more subtle ambient light and afternoons are best for this. Late afternoons are perfect if you do not want any deep shadows. The colors are more saturated and offer better light control. Shooting early in the morning will give you the advantage of shooting fresh flowers with a hint of dew on their petals and can add a magnitude of depth in your photographs. Flowers shot indoor for those ordered online can benefit from the deep rays of sunshine that bounce off shiny surfaces in your house and can give a beautiful effect on your bouquet
Natural Light – A photographer’s perfect light!
Capturing flower bouquets or flowers in general with a beam of light coming from the back looks exhilarating and capturing the rays of the sun that pass through the flowers gives it an excellent look. Shooting on overcast days are the best as you get a diffused light and that can really uplift the overall look of the bouquet as there are no harsh rays of light to work with.
The morning light streaming from the side of the flowers creates a softer photo and more pleasing background.
Focus – Most Vital Aspect
Whether you are capturing a full bouquet of flowers that were delivered online or you are capturing one single flower to a full bed of flowers, it is extremely important to know where you want the focus to be. What catches the eye is most important and thus focusing on the right place is vital. If you are shooting an entire bed of fresh flowers, thinking having a background such as a vast landscape, or mountain range or even with a backdrop of lakes or gardens help give it a beautiful look. Shooting just one single flower is the easiest and the best way is to focus on the flower and drop down to the lowest aperture (e.g. f1.4 or f1.2 depending on the lens) and that creates a beautiful crisp image of the subject flower and a lovely soft background blur (bokeh)
Getting Close to the Flowers
Don’t shy away from getting too close to the flowers. Filling a photo frame with just one flower can be quite classy. Most critical is when you get to close, is focus. Knowing where to focus, especially center of the flower is most important. When you get close to the flower, you need to drop down the aperture a few stops to maybe f4 or f5.6 depending on how close you get to the flower so that you capture the full depth of field and not just the center with the edges of the petals blurry.
Sometimes you may have to shoot flowers inside due to weather restrictions and in that case setting up flowers inside requires some good tactics. You can set up indirect lights bouncing off the ceiling if the area is dim or you can you a flash with a diffuser to create a softer touch by bouncing the flash off the ceiling. Shooting near a window is the best option to shooting flower bouquets ordered online or flowers in general.
Using Existing Surroundings
Taking photographs with available surroundings provides great opportunity to use your creative mind. Including a person in the photograph holding the bouquet or flower or smelling the flower creates a very personalized touch. Having few drooping vines or background coffee tables or books alongside your bouquets also creates a beautiful pleasant effect for your flower photograph.
The best way is to experiment and learn from your mistakes and not get disheartened if they do not turn out right. After all practice makes perfect and the best way is to learn is to know what not to do and that’s the best way to photograph flowers. Each photographer is unique and using your own tips and tricks and experiments is always the best way to create something that is unique or the perfect shot so keep trying and you will succeed and get your perfect picture!