Flowers may be one of the most commonly photographed items, and yet there’s still the occasional shot of a blossom that offers the wow factor. How do you take a flower photo that’s not just another photo, but that stands out from the rest? By highlighting each flower’s shape and colour, and using a few macro photography techniques, you can take photos that really blossom. Here are the best flower photography tips for capturing that stand-out shot.
You’ll capture better shots of flowers simply by waiting for the right moment. The weather plays a big role in outdoor macro photography shots. A cloudy day offers nice, even light that’s easy for even beginning photographers to work with. Shooting just after a rainstorm means nice water droplets on the photos, and foliage tends to have darker, more saturated colour when wet. Avoid windy days though, as the flowers need to stay still to get a sharp shot.
The time of day matters too. About an hour before sunset, the light is a nice soft glow. While cloudy days make it easy to get a good flower photo, shooting shortly before sunset or shortly after sunrise allows for different backlighting effects.
Steady your shot
The closer you are to an object, the more you’ll notice even the tiniest bit of camera shake. To get pin-sharp images, use a tripod. A tripod that reaches a low minimum height is a good investment for photographers that enjoy macro photography as well as other subjects, but a tabletop tripod is often sufficient for flower photography as well.
To ward off camera shake even more, use the timer feature on your camera. The motion of pressing the shutter while the camera is mounted on the tripod can also introduce camera shake. Using a timer prevents that. Or, you could also get a remote release. Many wi-fi equipped cameras can also use a smartphone or a tablet as a remote release.
Use single point autofocus, or try manual
When getting up close on a single flower, choosing your focus point is essential. Do you focus on the center? The folds of the petals? The decision is up to you and what you’re envisioning, but you’ll need to know how to get the focus just how you are envisioning. You can try using manual focus,which works well for many macro shots. Take a few different shots, since it’s hard to tell if you have it fully in focus using just the viewfinder.
Single point autofocus also often works well for macro photography. This focus mode allows you to choose what part of the image to focus on by moving the focus box with the arrow keys (or using the touchscreen if your camera has one). It’s a simple switch you can make by just opening the camera’s menu or using your camera’s focus shortcut if there is one. However simple, it makes a big impact in getting the right portion of the shot sharp.
Look for backlighting
Flowers shot with backlighting just glow, literally. The thin petals, when there is light coming from behind them, will actually appear to light up. That makes backlighting a great technique to use with flowers.
To use backlighting, you need to position the camera so the sun is coming in from behind the flower. To get the sun low enough in the sky to do this, you’ll need to