Orange Flower

5 Tips for Shooting Flowers

Earth laughs in flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I had a blast this past weekend in Ogunquit, ME. This time, the main attraction on the famous Marginal Way didn’t seem to be the spectacular ocean view, but the sea of beautiful flowers. People with camera phones, iPads, DSRLs were thrilled to capture the nice colors. Great shooting opportunity: mostly cloudy, the rain had just ended. And by the way, no one had a tripod. I know they are highly recommended when shooting close-ups. But a tripod wouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind when going for a leisurely stroll by the ocean, would it?

Here are a few suggestions so your flower shots come out great, even when you didn’t feel like lugging a tripod with you.

1. Get closer for more impact

Use Aperture Priority mode and set your aperture between f/8 and f/11. Depth of field is limited in close-up photography and you want to get most of the flower in focus. If your speed gets too low, increase the ISO. I am pretty comfortable using even an 800 ISO with my camera, but ideally you should keep it as low as possible to minimize digital noise.

2. Pay attention to the background

Check to make sure there are no distractions in the background. By distractions I mean brighter colors, highlights, or anything that would compete with the main subject.  You want to isolate the flower from the background. I know this could be a bit challenging with flowers, but it’s important. Move around to find the best spot.

3. Leave some out

You don’t need to include the whole flower in the frame all the time. Leaving out part of it can create a more interesting shot – especially when shooting larger flowers, like sun flowers. A blue sky would even make a nice background since blue and yellow are complementary colors.

4. Shoot in the rain

Rain could add some dramatic effect to otherwise less interesting flowers. The pouring rain in the monochromatic photo above is what makes it captivating. You don’t always have to go after the most colorful flowers. Next time it rains, go out and shoot. Be careful not to get your camera wet.

5. Try a different perspective
Get down low and take a few shoots looking up. This unusual perspective will make your shots out of the ordinary since we are used to seeing flowers from the top-down.

For more photography tips and ideas, check out my latest photography book, Picture (Im)perfect Photographynow available at Amazon.

What tips do you have for shooting flowers? I would love to see some of your shots. Why not include a photo with your comment?
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5 Responses to “5 Tips for Shooting Flowers”

  1. carol | August 27, 2012 at 4:34 PM #

    Love your new site and look forward to learning what you and others have to offer. I like how you change the depth of field in your closeup work to really give it a ‘focus’ . Nice work for sure.

    • Andrei | August 27, 2012 at 6:50 PM #

      Thank you, Carol!

  2. Cornish | August 29, 2012 at 11:33 PM #

    Just joined your “blog” and am already impressed with what I have seen so far. Will follow diligently from now on! A quick flower pic, cropped for obvious title reasons. Hope it suits the ‘Flower’ section.

    • Andrei | August 30, 2012 at 1:16 AM #

      Thank you, Ralph. And welcome to the Balcony!

  3. Cornish | August 29, 2012 at 11:35 PM #

    Should say that the Flower’s title would be “Sunrise”, Thanks