Any type of reflective material could work, such as a white sheet of foam core or even a piece of white poster board. A 5-in-1 reflector is a relatively inexpensive solution that works great for this type of photography. These reflectors are typically round and have reversible sheet that is black on one side and white on the other, then when turned inside out, is silver on one side and gold on the other. Sandwiched in the middle is a diffusion disc that can be used in many ways as well. Depending on your situation, you can use the gold side to provide warmer light or the silver side for a cooler image.
There are lots of uses for this versatile and indispensable tool and it folds up to make it easy to carry with you. This could be a good time to break out the flash and see what can be created. It may be best to get the flash off the camera using remote triggers to provide more depth and dimension to the image. Plus, just a little kiss of light may be all you need to really make that image sing, so start out with the flash at low power and adjust as necessary.
C heck out these great articles and for more detailed information on using flash. And here is more information about recommended flash gear. As the title of this tip implies, just add water.
However, if you need to add your own, a small spray bottle will suffice. Just spritz a little bit of water on the flower, and then take your best shot. This water will accomplish three things for you in preparation for some great images. First, the flower may be dusty and the water will clean it off. Secondly, the water will bead up on the flower petals and other flower parts and just makes the image much more interesting. Finally, the flower will glisten as light is reflected off the sheen of water and make it appear more vibrant in your images.
This will be done at night or maybe inside in a dark room if the flower can be moved inside. First, set up the camera and lens on a steady tripod and use the live view function to compose the shot and focus on the flower. Make sure you have a way to trigger the shutter without touching the camera, either using a cable release or remote trigger or the self-timer on the camera. Then, open the shutter to begin the exposure. Once the shutter is open, use a small flashlight to paint parts of the flower.
After the shutter closes, review the image on the LCD to see what you created. It is not necessary to always compose your flower images with the whole flower in the shot. Try something different and more creative. Only show a small part of the flower; perhaps only a petal or part of a petal, the stamen, or some other part of the flower. Abstract images of this nature evoke a sense of mystery and curiosity.
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The viewer will see what is in the image and try to piece together the rest in their imagination. Try using the wind to your advantage in making a more creative image of the flowers.
With the camera set up on a tripod, stop down the aperture to achieve a relatively slow shutter speed. Depending on how strong the wind is blowing and how much light is available, you may even need to use a neutral density filter to slow the shutter speed enough to show movement. Once you have established the camera setting necessary for the shot, make an image and review it on the LCD.
Make adjustments, if necessary, to speed up or slow down the shutter speed for the desired result. The shutter should remain open for a second or two as the wind is blowing the flowers. The result will be a more artistic and dynamic image showing the blurring of the flowers as they move to and fro.
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Ideally, you will be making images close to sunrise or sunset when the sun is low in the sky and the light is best. Place the flower between the camera and the sun, with just a hint of the sun peeking out from the edge of the flower to create a starburst effect. Be sure use a tripod and use live view to compose and focus. Do not look directly toward the sun through the viewfinder, as this could damage your eye. Also, take advantage of the beautiful colors in the sky just as the sun is about to rise or right after sunset.
Compose the image of the flower to show the setting sun and sky to make a very dramatic image. One great way to tell a story with your flower images is to select a flower and show its life cycle with a series of images taken throughout the growing season. Start with an initial image showing the flower just as it is planted or beginning to grow. Over time, take an image every few days or a week to illustrate the transformation of the flower as it begins to bloom, fully opens, and eventually dies at the end of its life cycle or when the weather changes. Depending on the number of images taken, you may even be able to put them together to create a time-lapse video of your flower.
When you are shooting that flower image, keep in mind the end result and the post-processing potential. One wonderful aspect of photography is that you have the freedom to create not just what you see, but also what you feel in an image.
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That flower may be colorful, but perhaps you would prefer to make the image black and white. You may even choose to selectively color the image gasp! Half the fun is post-processing. The raw image is just a starting point, a kind of canvas for your work of art. So make those flower images and have fun with them! There are situations when the dynamic range is just too great to capture in a single image. In these situations, photographers sometimes take a series of bracketed images at different exposure values and blend them into a single image in post-processing.
This is called high dynamic range, or HDR, photography. Many modern cameras have an auto bracketing function that allows you to take 3, 5, 7, or even 9 images at different exposure values. Check your manual to see how to access and set up you camera for auto-bracketing. It will be best to set up the camera on a tripod to do this.
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Once set up, composed, and focused, use the self-timer or a cable release to take the bracketed images. In post-processing, use Photoshop or HDR software to combine and blend the images. For more tips about how to shoot and process HDR images, watch this video. Using flash and a relatively high shutter speed, you may be able to illuminate the flower and drop the background completely out of the image.
This will work best when shooting from above, looking straight down at the flower. The idea is to light only the flowers and not the background. These settings are only a starting point and may need to be adjusted depending on the amount of ambient light that is present. You may not be able to completely drop out the background in camera, but this can be accomplished easily in Lightroom. Another great way to get inspired and to possibly provide a spark of inspiration is to complete a flower photography project.
There are many different possibilities, but here are just a few to consider:. A project will get you out shooting a lot, which is a good thing. The saying goes that practice makes perfect or that perfect practice makes perfect. The best way to get better at shooting is to get out and shoot. I hope that you will find one or maybe all of these tips helpful and inspiring. I encourage you to get out and try new techniques and come up with interesting ways to make your own images more creative. Article written by Rusty Parkhurst. Rusty has been passionate about learning photography and creating great images since picking up his first 'real' camera 5 years ago.
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He works in the environmental consulting industry by day, spends evenings and weekends trying to keep up with 3 growing boys, and squeezes in as much photography time as possible. He loves talking photography and welcomes any questions you may have. More of his work can be found on his website. Balloon Flower by Rusty Parkhurst.
Delicate Beauty by Rusty Parkhurst. Wildflowers by Rusty Parkhurst. Backlighting your flowers can really enhance the colours in your photos. If you were unable to compose your shot as you would have liked to, you can try fixing it using photo editing software. Selective colouring where the entire photo is in black and white, with only a portion of it in colour can work well with flower photography: try converting your photo to black and white, leaving only the bug in colour, for example. Close menu. First, Learn the Basics There are several composition techniques that can be applied to many photography genres, and flower photography is no exception.
Lighting Makes a Difference The best time of day to capture any type of outdoor photos is an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. Edit, Share and Show Off! Leave a comment Name Email. Ready to create your masterpiece?
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