October 11, 2011

Flower Photography - Tips for Better Photos

Nothing can be more rewarding and relaxing than to photograph flowers. Almost any season lends itself for this purpose. If you live in colder zones, then you can still photograph specimens which are potted and kept indoors. In the south this is usually not the problem. Although dealing with the heat and humidity is.

One time tested approach to flower photography is to approach the subject from a documentary standpoint. It involves taking shots of all the parts of the specimen; the stalk, petals, stamen, leaves. It also encompasses shots that are wide angle, zoomed in and macro.

Most flower petals are translucent so their photography has to be approached more carefully. Care should be given to shots in which the light source is so strong that you end up losing much of the petal's details. Pay attention to red flowers since film reacts more to this color than to any other and the photo can result in the red petals rendered as seemingly "washed out". The use of a diffuser is strongly recommended as is shooting under an overcast sky. The light is softer and the shadows less harsh. Reflectors are also useful as they can add light to shaded areas especially if you are shooting in heavy brush or woods.

Another technique is to photograph flowers after a light rain or to mist them with water prior to the photo. Water drops can add interesting and intriguing details to the shot. If doing macro, try to focus on individual drops of water and you may be able to even capture reflections from it. Do however, include a bit of the foliage.

You can create a solution of three parts water and one part mineral oil/glycerin to spray the flowers with. It does not harm the flower and the drops last much longer.

For macro shots you should use a tripod or mono pod. Photos at high magnifications will reveal motion much easier than on other shots. One technique or tool that is very useful is to use a clamp to hold the subject in place and to minimize motion. You can make your own by simply attaching a small clamp (no teeth) to a thin metal or wood rod which you then stick in the ground, or you can use a semi-flexible cable or wire. Be careful not to include the clamp in the final shot. Photo cubes are also good and easy to make yourself. They are just a box of white material with one side being side-less and another side containing a hole through which you introduce the lens and take the photograph.

I often submit photos to publications and regardless of the subject I annotate the particulars of the shot such as film type, lens size,location,and common and scientific name of the subject.


My name is Luis E Gonzalez. Long time Miami resident, enjoys photography and has been doing so for over 20 years. Currently employed in the social services industry in career development. Graduate of the University of Miami with bachelors degree and concurrent doctorate degree.

Varied experience in many fields, such as US. Navy reserve member during the operations Dessert Storm & Iraqi Freedom, State of Florida Law Enforcement Officer, Public School Teacher, Retail Management. I am dedicated to sharing my photography experience with everyone. You mat reach me at luisegonzalez1961@hotmail.com


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