Do you love those blooming flowers in your garden? Do you want to preserve the memory of that gorgeous bloom forever? Why not try putting your photography skills to good use and capture a beautiful, delicate floral macro? Flower Photography is one of the most explored area of photography, not only because of their natural beauty but simply due to their availability in almost every area. Most people like capturing flowers to preserve their collections, show off their garden blooms, or simply because they love photography. But many a times the result does not tally with what they actually saw. This article should give you a basic understanding of how to capture beautiful floral shots that will be envied by the public. Please do note that I am assuming that you know the basic terms of photography and how to expose to get decent results. If not, then be patient and I will upload the Basics of Photography soon. I think we all are familiar with the warning that windy days should be avoided when photographing flowers unless you have something special in mind. Photographing when there is a thin layer of clouds softens the light from the sun, although sometimes you can use a diffuser to control contrast and make sure you get the best colors. These are some of the basic tips to remember. Some people will also suggest that you need a tripod to photograph flowers, something that should be taken with a grain of salt. I prefer to say that sometimes you may need a tripod, but not all the times. My flower photography is a good example of what can be achieved without a tripod. Remember that rules are not always to be followed. After all, photography is a creative endeavor. Let’s Begin: 1: No DSLR No Shooting: Show a decent flower shot to people and they will say “Oh, this guy will be having a DSLR which has made this shot possible.” They are wrong. Completely wrong. You do not need any big cameras to get decent flower shots. I do agree that DSLR plays a significant role, and if given a choice I will opt for a DSLR over Compact but always do remember, it’s not the gear that matters, it’s the Photographer. Compact cameras are good for photographing flowers, and some of them can focus so close, you'll beat out the DSLR photographers that need to spend lots of money in macro lenses to achieve the same effect. 2: Always try different angles: Never get satisfied with one decent head shot of flowers. Get down on your knees, and you will see a whole new perspective of shooting flowers. You’ll have numerous possibilities at your disposal and you’ll fare better than all other casual photographers if you try different angles. 3: Control your Depth of Field: DOF plays a crucial role in getting a decent flower shot. Many of us want everything in focus. When you get everything in focus, you often get a messy image. With flowers, it is wise to isolate your subject from the background unless you want a specific result. You have various ways to do this: use a macro and/or a long lens, open the aperture and go around the flower, as a hunter does to its prey, to check if there's a better angle to shoot from. 4: Use Reflectors and Cards Carry a piece of black and /or white cloth with you. About 2m x 1m which rolls up nice and small. You can drape this behind the flower head you want to capture to get a nice, clean, plain backdrop. Removes the busy background of leaves and stems and certainly helpful if the camera isn't able to produce a good DOF. 5: Post Processing: Although many of us don’t like Post Processing and consider it as cheating, I disagree with this. If Photography is an art then all artists work on their images until it’s a masterpiece. Camera is a mere tool, it does not have the capability to judge what is right and wrong, and it often produces the wrong result. That’s when Post Processing serves as a boon. Whether your image lacks exposure, or the background is messy or simply requires some tweaking, PP can help you out in all cases. Flower photography is not a mechanical thing. Once you understand how light works, flower photography is the result of sitting and watching. And waiting. And returning over and over to the same spots.. Now go and try it for yourself. And if you run into any trouble, do share it in the comments. I'll surely help you out.
Ishan Pathak | Paul Robertson | Carol Gladman