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.