A few quick tips to improve your Flower Photography.
All flowers are beautiful, and when you look at them as a bouquet from the shop or in a garden, you tend not to see all the imperfections on their petals or leaves, you may just focus on the colour, the fragrance and the beauty of the flower. However when you take a photo of that flower these imperfections become obvious as you view your image on the big screen.
I have seen many beautiful flower images ruined by spots, and imperfections. You can easily clean these up with editing software, I mainly use the healing tool in Adobe Camera Raw. Sometimes though there may be, just too many spots and imperfections; and in this case I would just trash the image. Ruined petals and leaves, such as being damaged, or burnt by the sun are really big issues too; unless of course it is a small imperfection, and has been photographed in such a way; that it adds character and beauty to the image.
When I saw this red rose growing in my garden, the beauty of it stunned me, even though the petals were not perfect. This fact only added to it’s beauty. I cut the flower and placed it in a vase and then photographed it exactly the way it was.
Another tip is to practice good composition. Take lots of different shots of the same flower, from many different angles. Zoom in really close and then zoom out again. Then look at these images in a non – biased way, as if say; you were to hang it up on your wall. See which ones work and which don’t and then focus on shooting flowers based on the good shots that you took previously. If you see nothing that you like, then try again and again. Persistence is key in Photography.
Use different lenses, try a zoom lens, or a macro lens. If you don’t have these, it doesn’t matter. Perfect your photography with whatever lens or camera you have.
There is nothing more important in photography, than light. It is what makes or breaks a photograph. Sure you can fix it in various editing programs, or even change it completely into something else. But that would be more on the digital art side. Wouldn’t it just be so much better to use good light and take great images rather than try to fix something that really wasn’t meant to be.
So what is the best time to photograph flowers?
I like to photograph flowers and landscapes for that matter in the early hours of the morning, before the sun has risen, or sometimes just as it has risen above the horizon, the light is much more softer than what it is during the middle of the day or late in the afternoon. Sometimes though as I have wandered through my gardens late in the day, the late afternoon sun can cast a beautiful vibrancy to flowers in the garden, especially if they have a strong bright colour, and I have taken many photographs of flowers at this time of the day.
Overcast days and rainy days too, are very good for flower photography, indoors and out; especially in the garden. Just watch out for the middle of the day hours in bright overcast conditions as you may need a filter to tone down the glare a little.
I have found that bought flowers can sometimes be less than ideal for photography, so I try to grow them in my garden instead, or in pots; and that way I can keep an eye on them until they have reached their level of perfection. This is when they are at their best and most freshest.
I am going to finish up with bugs. This is another thing that really ruins a good flower photograph, unless of course it is a butterfly or a bee. Some bugs you can eradicate before you photograph, or if you see them at the time, they can be easily be eradicated in editing or processing software.
I sometimes write and upload photographs on flickr. You can also follow there.