Saturday, 4 August 2012

Flower Photography (Yes, It's a Different Type)

We've all been astonished by the beauty of flowers and it's truly hard explaining how amazing a flower garden is. That's why it's better to take a cool picture and just show it to everyone.
We don't really need much to take great flower photographs out in the open. I like to travel light so most of the time I carry only 2 lenses for my camera - 18-55 kit lens and my love the 50mm prime.
Here are a few examples from this spring. Please follow my comments and advice right below.
Tulips all rights reserved
Tulips all rights reservedTulips all rights reserved
Tulips all rights reserved

Let's start with what's really easy to spot.

  • Choose a good angle so you'll get only flowers in the shot. Meaning, there will not be dirt, buildings, people or too much sky in the background. Get on your knees or belly if you have to.
  • Watch the focus. This is very important because clearly we are not just shooting without looking. We want whoever we are showing the picture to, to know what we were actually shooting. So, if there is a certain tulip we want to emphasize on, let's keep the focus on it.
  • Use a shallow depth of field meaning staying in the range between F2.8 and F4 for sharpness and a nice bokeh.
  • Get close to the flowers. They do not bite. Keep in mind that the prime lens will give you a great sharpness and amazing bokeh. The kit lens (or a vario, I'd suggest using, starting around 18mm) will get you closer to the flowers because of the smaller minimum focus distance. It's really up to you to decide. Try both and see what suits you better. I like shooting with the prime lens.
  • Be careful with the exposure. Switch to manual settings and do not trust the built-in light meter too much as it will give you odd values. Note that the many colourful surfaces might confuse the camera. My advice here is to trust the light meter initially and then make the corrections manually and check for burns (unwanted overexposed areas) after almost every shot.
  • Use higher shutter speeds (1/500 or higher)
  • Take more than one shot at a certain angle. Sometimes you might be losing focus because of the many objects in the camera's way.
Final words of wisdom:
You can shoot flowers all day. There's really no rule for what time is the best for taking this type of photos. Do not be worried about the sun being to high. All the samples here were taken around noon.
Check out the article on autumn leaves too by clicking here!

All the best,

Kamen Kunchev

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