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Depth of Field in Floral Photography

A Guest Post by Christine Havill

Nearly every person who has held a camera has been drawn to and experienced the pleasure of photographing a flower. Most photographers however, or so I have found, deem a flower shot to be a ‘cop out’ shot. Flowers are pretty and so a photo of one will be pretty right? wrong!


A floral photograph can make for a striking, artistic and moving image. From colour popping close ups , to a sad broken rose on a memorial bench to the wedding bouquet that means so much to the bride. And although the subject matter is either meaningful, emotional or just simply beautiful, if your settings are off the photo can be appalling ruining the capture.

Depth of field is the key to capturing your floral image perfectly and turning a bland flower shot into something that stuns. This is your ultimate tool to ensure your flower or flowers are the center of attention, or not, depending on your style.


For a singular flower shot, your background is just as important as your foreground. Even if you can’t compose the shot so that the background isn’t loud or busy, a very low f number will ensure that it is thrown out of focus, often adding to the picture with interesting bokeh that highlights your clear and perfectly focused flower.

If you are set on capturing a field of flowers, your f number will need to be a little higher to balance your focus across the whole scene. In the same respect if you feel creating a more unique effect you could throw the colourful flowers out of focus, creating a feeling of distance with the blur by using a low aperture and focusing on just one flower in the foreground will create an interesting image.


Often use of depth of field, blur and bokeh creates the image more so than the actual subject. A rose on the ground where the foreground and background is blurred effortlessly draws your attention more than a simple evenly focused a rose on the ground.

As the aperture setting is your ultimate awesome floral photograph weapon, so be your type of lens. When used, correctly with the right aperture settings, macro lenses create wonderful floral images that may simply consist of shapes and colours, contours of petals or of fascinating close ups. A wide lens and the right f number will have you wanting to run through fields of wildflowers.


See more of Christine Havill’s work at her site – Kiri Photography.

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