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There are flowers and there are flowers. Not all flowers are equal in a photography sense. Some can look like they are easy to photograph, and in reality can be a pain in the neck to try and get all the detail. Others are fantastic, they look fantastic, they are easy to photograph and the picture comes out how you want! And then there are the ones that surprise you. They look average and uninteresting but get in close and you are staring at the surface of another world. All the curves, lines, colour comes out when you take the picture.
Some flowers look better very close up because of their size and detail. Perhaps with a smaller flower, it may look uninteresting from an arms length away but get it up close and it may look magnificent (Small yellow daisies, Rock Rose.)
Other flowers such as the rose really look good from any distance, mainly because they are beautiful and because we know what flower they are. But just because we already know what it is doesn’t mean we need to cut corners with our photographic artistic skills.
Flowers are a matter of personal taste. So which one do we start with? Your favourite one is the best place to start. A beautiful as a big garden rose in bloom with the fragrance that should be bottled and sold, for example, will not only inspire you but you’ll want to spend time getting a great photo of it.
Each flower, depending on size and colour, will need to be photographed differently. I would photograph a Rose differently than I would a Jasmine flower, or an Impatien.
Then I would also photograph that Rose differently at 3 o’clock than I would at 10 o’clock. I would also photograph the Rose vastly differently in the Summer time to the Winter time and again vastly differently outside to inside. I would also photograph it differently depending on how close or how far I could get to it. And depending on the type of flower I’d even ditch the colour medium and do some black and white or sepia mediums with it.
What’s that I hear you say? Flowers can’t look good in anything other than colour? Oh that simply isn’t true! Wait till later on in this eBook and I’ll show you some black and white shots with flowers and you’ll be amazed at just how well they come out.
As I mentioned there are 5 things you must do in order to get your shots of flowers looking spectacular. There have been a lot of photographs I’ve seen of flowers but not with the intense colour, details, patterns or delicacy that exists in real life. These things will eliminate that for you, forever.
Flower photography is a great photographic pleasure. One secret is to always shoot a simple, uncomplicated look first. It’s much better to aim for ‘simple’ rather than cram a lot into your flower pictures. If you look at professional photos of flowers you will notice that the best ones are always the most simple. Best images are always simple and to the point.
The worst flower pictures I’ve seen are those with too much in the photograph. A nice bunch of flowers can be ruined by too much to look at, or not being sure what to look at. Such as a bunch of flowers and your eye doesn’t focus on any one thing. You eye in act is left trying to work out what the photographer wanted you to focus on. Such a crowded picture can be quite distracting.
So if you want ‘wow’ shots, then use less in the shot, and go for a composition that focuses on simple shapes, lines and forms. If you are doing colour pictures of flowers, then look for the colour that stands out the most and ask yourself how you can enhance it with the tools you have on you right now.
A really good flower picture gives you the same type of view as if you were actually really there, and giving you the same feelings. Decide on your composition: visually frame your composition first.
To work out what your composition is going to be, look to the left of the scene then look to the right. If you had to capture it, where would the sides of the picture be? If you are not sure how to find the ‘edge’ of the photo, you can mount your digital on your tripod and start at one point and take the picture. Move it a little to the right and take the picture again, and keep going until you come back to where you started. Using a tripod keeps the camera level and you are taking in everything. You’ll find a good shot out of this.
Your lens is most important for making flower photography look impressive. Have you ever taken a picture of a beautiful Rose that looks like it has not detail or true depth and it turns out flat and uninspiring? That’s because you may not have the lens. Choosing the right lens is extremely important. If you’re not sure what lens to get for flower photography- which are always medium to close up shots-, or what works best and you’re most comfortable with, try a few different focal lengths.