Flower Photography

April showers have come and gone. Left in their wake are little islands of germinating seeds ready to erupt in a floral fantasy. As more and more buds open, petals sing out to be exposed again and again. Being a favorite subject of many photographers, the season has begun for you to go out and capture your own prize winners.

PLAY WITH THE LIGHT:
Too much contrast makes it difficult to get a good picture. This is true when sunny conditions exist. To narrow the contrast range, use fill-flash or a reflector to add light to the shadow areas. An alternative is to use a diffuser to soften the light. Any type of translucent,white material works fine. Collapsible disks that fit in a camera bag are marketed for such purposes.

BELLY SHOTS: Many floral subjects are best shot from eye level. This means getting down on your knees or belly to become more intimate with every flower you photograph. Getting down low will offer new opportunities with regards to the look of the background. Try to juxtapose the flower against a blue sky. With yellow, red or orange specimens, the color contrast can be dramatic. When offsetting your subject against a natural background, be aware of your aperture as it has a tremendous impact on the final outcome of the image. Apertures of ƒ4 and ƒ5.6 yield less depth of field than ƒ16 or ƒ22. An in-focus and busy background will compete for attention with the main subject. Having the flower stand out against an out-of-focus background is ideal. Shoot with the lens wide open to attain this. Another great effect is to place like-colored petals of the flower you’re photographing directly in front of your lens to create a wash of color in the foreground.

Visit www.russburdenphotography.com

20 Comments

    More great stuff from Professor Burden – SO appreciate your time and expertise sharing – have learned so much from you, I could write a book – hey, there’s a thought! 🙂

    All seriousness aside, I am proud ot know you and happy to share your great new website with others – will take liberty of posting it on my Studio Luna Gallery fan page to share with friendsi on Facebook now…

    Hope to see you soon at a Focus meeting.

    Happy trails,

    Christine

    Russ is a great photographer and always willing to go the extra mile so that his students understand. Nice composition and a great detailed description of what he was thinking when he took the lupine photo.

    Very informative article on photographing flowers.

    Have shared with my family and friends.

    Always enjoy receiving your tips and make use of them.

    Love the capture, love the advice. Thanks for the concepts of color, and perspective. I look forward to applying to my own work to see what results.

    thanks!

    Boundless creativity and skilled photography! Readers become students who become better photographers. Can’t get much better than that. Thanks Russ, looking forward to your next articles.

    I learned something here – I really need two or so of those portable diffusers. I can think of several shots that could have been better with this easy accessory.

    Russ always offers such fantastic advice and ideas. He delivers it in such a clear, easy way that you want to run out that moment and try it. Thanks, Russ, I’m looking forward to reading more of your articles. But first, since I read this article, I now must go find some flowers to photograph…

    As an Australian living in the U.S. for 2 years, I was privileged to experience 4 photo tours with Russ. I amassed a plethora of information and photographic skills from a master photographer and skilled teacher. Look forward to improving my photography through your OP articles, Russ.

    Some great advice here and a great image. I enjoy this type of photography and will put these ideas to use to improve what i do. Thanks, Russ.

    RE: Belly Shots–You make one statement in the topic sentence, “Many floral subjects are best shot from eye level.” And then contradict it in the next sentence,”This means getting down on your knees or belly to become more intimate with every flower you photograph.” Eye level actually means standing up! You should say, “Many floral subjects are best shot from near ground level.”

    I think that OP needs a competent copy editor to clean up such confusing statements.

    Thanks for the quick tips, just right for transferring to index cards that can be carried in the camera bag and referred to reminders, as it is all too easy to shoot first and think after the shot!

    What a beautiful shot. I really like the soft lighting of your photo and the contrasting colors. I’ve recently started taking photos of flowers and shooting in certain times of the day can create stong shadows. Thanks for the tips to soften up the lighting.

    To the comment made about eye level requires that you are in a standing position – eye level is typically whatever level your eye is at. If you are laying on your belly, where is YOUR EYE? Mine is “belly level” or “ground level”, wherever my head and my eyes take me! I get the eye level thing even if you don’t.

    Thank you very much for posting this article. Its a very useful article. We will be acquire lot of things from this site.So i want some information about this post.

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