Take Better Pictures Of Flowers – 7 Useful Hints For Better Flower Photos

You Can Learn How To Take Better Pictures Of Flowers

Take Better Pictures of FlowersIf you are anything at all like me, you love to take pictures of nature. It is the handiwork of our Creator. The beauty and variety are amazing.

Each flower is an individual and unique picture. But getting good, sharp pictures does take some knowledge and skill. In fact, if you have the knowledge, the skill kind of falls into place.

So here are a few helpful hints for getting better pictures of flowers.

1. Shoot macro. If you are not familiar with the term macro, it simply means get up close and personal. A picture of a single flower has so much more impact than a picture of a group of flowers. You can see the minute details, and it is amazing the way each flower is formed. You don’t usually pay too much attention to these details until you have a computer screen filled with an individual flower.

2. Use Shallow Depth of Field. Sounds complicated, but it really is not. Depth of field is how much of the picture is in focus. When you have a shallow depth of field, the background of the picture will be blurred, making the flower POP out of the picture.

shallow depth of field
This picture was taken with an aperture of f/4.0. Notice how blurry the background is? This is shallow depth of field.

To accomplish this, set your camera on the Macro mode (look for the setting with a picture of a little flower). But if you are feeling really adventurous, set your camera on A or Av (see the mode dial for this setting), and use the setting with the smallest number, such as f/2.8 or f/3.5. Smaller numbers will give you the smallest (or shallowest) depth of field. Then get close enough to the flower to fill the camera frame with it. If will see that the background is blurred, you have done it!

3. A tripod is your best friend. You really need a steady camera, and a tripod is the best way to do that. When taking close up pictures, every little movement can be disastrous, resulting in a blurry picture. If a tripod is not handy, find another way to steady your camera. You can brace the camera against a tree or set it on a rock. Get creative.

4. Change your perspective. I used to wonder why photographers always crouched down when taking pictures. Now I know. Changing the angle of your shot adds interest. In the case of a flower, there are lots of different looks, depending on which way you position your camera.

So, take pictures on the same level as the flower, but also go lower or higher to see if there is any more interest. Also move around. Don’t just take your shots from directly in front of the flower.

change your perspective
A group of daffodils taken from a standing position above the flowers – boring.

change perspective
Same flower from below.. much more interesting, don’t you think?

5. Move the flower “off-center”. There is a very strong urge to center a flower right in the center of the frame. However, if you try moving the flower to one side or move it above the center line, you will generate more creative interest. This is called the “Rule of Thirds” or the “Golden Section.” It has been used by artists for centuries, and it works really well.

So, after you take the picture with the flower in the center, take more pictures with the flower moved to one side or the other. Actually, take the pictures with the flower in every possible position you can imagine to see what happens. You will probably be surprised to discover that it makes a big difference.

Rule of Thirds
This flower is left of center. This type of composition creates more interest than placing the subject smack-dab in the center.

6. Avoid harsh shadows. This is the one tip that can save you the most heartache. We are all guilty of taking pictures that we think are wonderful only to discover that they are horrible once we get them on the big screen. Bright sunlight is a photo destroyer.

To compensate for this, use clouds. Cloudy days are really ideal for flower photography. If the weather is partly cloudy, just wait for one to pass over.

If the sun and clouds are not cooperating, create your own shade with an object such as an umbrella or a large piece of cardboard. You can even use a body to create a photo-friendly setting.

7. Watch out for the wind. Actually, it isn’t so much the wind as a gentle breeze that foils the efforts of many flower photographers. On windy days, we are usually aware of what can happen… blurry pictures.

But when there is just a gentle breeze, we can be subject to a false sense of security that the pictures will be fine. However, when you are taking macro pictures, even the slightest movement can wreck havoc on your photos.

Wait for the breeze to die down or find some way to block the breeze. Here is another place that an umbrella or a large piece of cardboard can be helpful.

Finally, take lots of pictures. It never hurts to have more photos than you need. You can always delete duplicates. But if you only take one or two, and it turns out that they were not up to the quality you desire, you will have nothing.

If you have a favorite method for taking better pictures of flowers, why not share it by leaving a comment below.

Happy shooting!