How To Photograph Flowers, Part 4

How To Photograph Flowers, Part 4

©NYI Dean Chuck DeLaney
What about a bed of flowers...or a field of them? Here, you can probably use a point-and-shoot as well as an SLR. A tripod is less necessary. Focus is no longer critical - it can extend for feet or even miles. And metering with your built-in meter will probably produce a good result.

What about the direction of light? It still can make a difference. If you can check how the flowers look from different sides, by all means do so. Frontlighting may be all right. Backlighting - or sidelighting - may be better. Camera angle - that is, height - is usually less important in this type of long shot. (You should still stoop down to see if the image is improved from a low angle that will accentuate the nearest flowers.)

What should you look out for here? We think you should go back to the very first decision: What's your subject? A bed or field of flowers may look exquisite to your eye, but often makes an awfully dull picture. Look for something that will add interest to the picture, and draw the eye of the viewer and be the subject of your picture. The flowers act as swatches of color that complement it.

Black-Eyed Susans
If you're photographing a flower bed, look around. Perhaps, a child playing amidst the flowers will make a far more interesting picture. Or the house behind it. Or the apple tree in the foreground? Or the fence. Or anything else you can find to draw the viewer's eye and add interest.

©NYI Student James F. McNally
Do the same with a field of flowers. Is there a barn that would make a better subject? A tree? A windmill? A lone person far out in the field (Christina's world!)? A babbling stream? A majestic mountain landscape? Chances are, if you look around you'll find lots of potential targets that will add considerable interest to your photograph.

©NYI Student Loreen Peabody
To sum all this up: Flowers are colorful and can make beautiful subjects when you're close up and they fill the frame. You're better off finding another subject, and using the flowers as an "accessory," when you're shooting from farther away.

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