“The earth laughs in flowers.” I have to agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson on this. Flowers are one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations. There is nothing that brings me more joy than photographing a field of wildflowers.
There are so many things to consider when photographing flowers, from lens choice to lighting. Although you are starting out with a photogenic subject, there are still ways to elevate a quick snap to a thoughtful, vibrant and well-composed image that amplifies what nature provides. I am sharing my favorite flower photography tips below.
Head out to your backyard, a favorite park or botanical garden and capture as many beautiful blooms as you can. Then, submit your best photo with the form below to share with AAA Northeast. Next month, we’ll update this post with all the pictures we receive and feature some of our favorites on our social media channels. Your photo may also appear in an upcoming issue of Your AAA magazine
We look forward to seeing a garden full of your flower photos!
You can use just about any lens to photograph flowers. Different apertures and focal lengths yield completely different results. For example, a macro lens will allow you to get really close and capture all the details, whereas a wide-angle lens will show more of the flower in its environment. I love using a macro lens and my 135mm f/1.8 lens. The 135mm gives beautiful blur and compression. I recommend playing with different lenses and focal lengths to see what you like best.
If you are a novice, I highly recommend waiting for an overcast day or cloud cover to try out flower photography. Overcast days provide soft, evenly distributed light, which really makes for beautiful pictures. Full sun leaves you with bright spots and harsh shadows. If you find yourself stuck with a sunny day, you can use a diffuser to filter the harsh sun rays.
More experienced photographers should snap floral pics during the golden hours – the hour after sunrise and before sunset. Golden hour shots add in more lighting dimension and an overall sense of warmth.
When photographing flowers you need to consider your depth of field. Do you want to showcase just one flower and have the background be blurry? If so, then you will want to choose a large aperture – anywhere between f/1.8 -f/4. If you are trying to capture multiple flowers or a field of flowers you will want to choose a small aperture – anywhere between f/11-f/22.
Framing your flowers with other flowers or leaves makes for an interesting composition. You can look for plants that are already there or you can try cutting one and holding it near the flower or your lens.
Height and Angles
Vary your height and angles when shooting flowers. I like to take them from three different angles and heights. I start out at the flower’s height, move up slightly, and then take one shot straight down on the flower. I like to rotate 360 degrees around the flower too. Your lighting and background can be completely different with each turn.
Bring a water mister or spray bottle with you to spray the flowers with water. This will add some beautiful water droplets to your flowers.
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