Spring is in the air and flowers are blooming all over the place. For many, that means allergies and hay fever but for photographers, it means the chance to capture nature in one of its most beautiful stages -- the blooming and budding stage. Spring is the only time of year when this kind of photography is possible and it's one of the most fascinating kinds of photography -- right up there with sunrise photos and storm photography. However, while it's easy enough to capture photos of flower fields and gardens, getting down and getting truly unique photos of flowers in their early stages requires a bit of skill and careful planning. Trying new kinds of photography can be intimidating, but with these 5 tips to taking awesome photos of flowers, you can start practicing right in your own backyard!
1) Invest in a Good Macro Lens
A macro lens
is going to allow you to get a good, close-up view of flowers that other lenses can't. A true macro lens produces an image recorded on the sensor at life-size or larger. However, be careful as great care has to be taken when focusing macro lenses since the depth of field is very limited when you're so close to the subject. Most likely, you'll want a tripod to avoid any blurriness caused by even the slightest movement of your hands.
2) Use a tripod
Getting a good close-up requires you to reduce camera shake as much as you can. Do this by using a tripod
instead of trying to go handheld if you can.
3) Use a remote release
Again, in the interests of reducing camera shake, invest in a remote release to fire the shutter without risking the chance of jostling the camera by pressing the shutter button.
4) Change your camera settings
Though most digital cameras
have a flower photography mode or setting, you may want to switch to manual and adjust your settings along these guidelines:
- Go with the lowest ISO setting available, usually ISO 100 or 200
- Shoot in RAW format so that the maximum amount of picture information is stored for you to work with later
- Set White Balance to Daylight to enable easy batch editing later
- Use single shot drive mode, rather than continuous
- Use smaller apertures to maximize detail
- Use wider apertures to emphasise a sharply focused subject against a blurred background
5) Pay attention to the weather and lighting
Bright, sunny days aren't always the best for photography. Carry around homemade bouncers and diffusers to soften and control the lighting conditions where ever you're shooting.
6) Gardening tools, mats, and spray bottles are your friends
Clothespins, twine, and other common tools can help you with moving plants or parts of plants out of your shot without needing to dig up or cut plants. Since you'll be kneeling a lot, a comfortable mat can keep your knees from getting too wrecked. Spray bottles filled with water can help you recreate that "fresh and dewy" look. We hope these tips encourage you to get our there and start capturing amazing shots! Do you have any tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!