Spring is Coming!  A Few Tips to Photograph Spring Flowers…

Photograph flowers on an overcast day

The soft even light of an overcast day compliments the delicacy of the flowers and there are no shadows and no harsh bright spots, which makes it easier to get a good exposure.

Backlight will make your flowers glow

Another type of light that is excellent for flower photography is backlight. Backlight happens when the sun is directly in front of you lighting your flower from behind. Because flower petals are translucent, backlight makes flowers appear to glow.

Try to capture backlit flowers late in the day when the sun is close to the horizon which will cast nice warm light on the rest of your image too. You might even be able to catch some rays of light filtering through the trees.

Watch out for wind

When it comes to photographing flowers, wind is your enemy. The easiest way to avoid it is to do your photography early in the morning when there is less chance of wind. If there is a bit of wind, you can use a piece of cardboard or your reflector to create a block.

Your other option is to bring a flower inside. I photographed the flower below by taking it inside and placing it in front of a white sheet.

Get closer

There are a number of ways to go about making the close up images of flowers we all love.

First, you can use a telephoto lens and zoom in to the flower. In this case, make sure you take note of the minimum focusing distance of the lens.  Using close up filters, extension tubes, or a macro lens will help too.

Use a reflector

If your subject is in the shade, you can use a reflector to bounce some light back towards your subject and make the flower more vibrant.

Avoid a cluttered background

As with every photograph, the background can make or break the image. Try to change your position so that there is nothing distracting behind your flower.

 Use a shallow depth of field

Shallow depth of field is when only part of the image is sharp and the rest is soft and out-of-focus. You can achieve this by using a wide aperture (low aperture number) such as f/4 or f/2.8. The effect is even more pronounced if you are using a telephoto lens with a wide aperture.

Make it sharp

Even if you are using a shallow depth of field, it is essential that at least part of the flower is sharp. Use a tripod, a cable release or your camera’s two second timer, and the mirror lock up function for the best results.

Finally, check your focus and if necessary use manual focus to ensure the camera is focused on the most important part of the subject.

Change your point of view

Move around and try some different angles for more interesting images

Focus through another flower

One technique I love is focusing through another flower.  Try positioning yourself so that another flower is in front of your main subject and very close to the end of your lens. The secondary flower will become a blur of color and your final image will have a more abstract feel.

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