Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shooting Flowers can be Fun

Capturing images of flowers is not that difficult and it is a fun way to learn photography techniques and tricks.  Flowers are a great photography topic, they are beautiful, full of color and you find them everywhere.  You can easily find flowers in your yard, the Mall, the park, a garden or in a flower shop.

You can come up with great photos of flowers just by following a few pointers.  Have fun with it and do not be afraid to experiment and try different things, you will be surprised with the results.

The first pointer is to create flower images from angles that we do not see every day.  So, do not shoot down on flowers, instead get down low and shoot them at their level or much lower and from down under.  The trick is to shoot at angles that are rarely seen by the eye.

For flower photography you need either a macro lens or a zoom lens.  You want to shoot flowers tight enough to nearly fill the frame and you want an out of focus background.  To create a blurred background, or out of focus, use your smallest aperture and isolate the flower or a small group of flowers from the rest of your composition.  When you accomplish this your out of focus background will not be a distracting factor to the eye and you will have created a strong visual flower composition.

There are three ideal times to capture flowers:  The first one is on cloudy and overcast days.  The diffuse light produce by the clouds will enrich the colors of the flowers and prevent the harsh direct light from the sun. 

Create great flower images just after a rain.  It is almost magical to capture raindrops on petals and stems.  The sky is still overcast, so the colors are rich and the water drops will add a reflecting factor to your photos.

Last but not least, you can also shoot on sunny days, but do so either early morning or late afternoon.  Shoot with a long zoom lens and position yourself so that the flowers are backlit, which will help you take control of the light.

You can incorporate white or black backgrounds to your flowers.  Leave at least 3 feet between the flowers and the background.  You can buy colored cardboard or use other materials, just position them behind the flowers and use natural light.

Wind is sometimes present when shooting flowers.  Once in a while you can wait for it to stop blowing, other times you can try and stop it with your body.  The easiest way is to adjust your shutter speed to at least 1/250 of a second or higher.  This will freeze the movement caused by the wind.  Or you can play around with the wind and incorporate it to the image by using a slow shutter speed, creating a completely new and different photo.

Have fun shooting flowers!


  1. Joaquin, no need to tell you that I love the tips!!! ;)
    Keep them coming- proud of you!!!

  2. If you'd like get that sparkly, dewy look you can carry a spritzer with you. Then shooting in the sun you can get the great look of water drops plus if you're shooting in the sun, you can get beautiful highlights by positioning the camera just right to pick up the reflection off the droplet(s).

    Same effect as shooting in the sun just after the rain.