Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Shoot Flowers - Part 1

Temperature's rising, birds are back from the south, leaves are growing on trees, and flowers are in bloom.


Yes, Spring has truly arrived.


And if you were worried about bringing out your camera into freezing temperatures of the outdoors, now's the perfect time to whip out your DSLR or point-and-shoot.


And if you are new to photography, then I have a couple of pieces of advice when you want to shoot flowers: get really, really low and get really, really close.


You see, most people shoot flowers standing up. So, majority of photos of flowers you will see are shot with the photographer lording over the flowers. There's really nothing wrong with that but sometimes it's really hard to see what your photographing.


Look at the picture below:


It can use a lot of improvement...


One solution is to isolate your subject:


But, still, you could do some more...

So, the next step is to get close.


Now we are getting somewhere. We were able to eliminate most of the negative space and we have clearly defined our subject, though the white blooms below are competing for our attention.


So, the next technique to use is to get really low. Why? If you get low, then you will produce a picture of a flower that is not always seen: you don't see a lot of people lying on the grass to look at flowers, right? But also, flowers look really nice when it's in a vase on a table, right?


Why?


Because flowers look nice when viewed from the side.


And the flowers behind the subject are out of focus so we can definitely tell that they are just the backdrop to the main subject.


[April 25 - Title updated to Part 1 to give way to Part 2. Part 2 can be found here.]


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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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