Monday, April 25, 2011

How to Shoot Flowers - Part 2

In a previous post, I said that there are two techniques that can greatly improve your flower photography. Since flowers are growing everywhere because, well, it's Spring time, let me add another to my previous list.

It's often been said that the best time to make pictures of landscapes is during the Golden Hour. It's also been said that one should not make portraits with people facing the sun because it'll make your subjects squint - not very nice.

In this light (no pun intended), I believe that, when it comes to flower photography, some lighting situations are also better than others.

Let me show you.

When you take flower photos under direct sunlight, shadows will obviously be in the shot. The shadows won't add anything to the shot.

So, the best solution is to make the photograph when the flowers is in the shade. This will make the light on the flower nice and even. Can't find a flower in a shaded area? Well, you, as in your body, hat, or jacket, can be used to put the flower in the shade. You will also need to put your camera on Spot Metering so you can be sure that the camera will meter on the flower and not the entire scene.

Want another technique? Why don't you use a diffuser, like the by Westcott; yes, the one that's also used to reduce the light for portraiture.

However, blocking the light falling on the flower can cause complications. When you use, say your hat, to block the light, there will be a great contrast in the light falling on the flower and the light falling on the background: the background can be greatly overexposed.

So, the best solution really, for me, is to wait until the flower, and its background, is in the shade. Hey, if you have the patience to wait for the golden hour for your landscape photography, then I think you'll have the patience for waiting for the perfect light for your flower photography.

Shots made with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon EF 24-105 f/4L lens. Want a nice photography bag for your DSLR? Check out my review of the Lowepro Slingshot 202 here.

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