Shooting Flowers

by Blake Robinson

March 7th, 2010    3 Comments     Add Comment

While shooting people is my first love, I do enjoy photographing a variety of other subjects, including flowers.  There are not many flowers available at our local florists yet, as we are at the tail end of winter. But I found a few flowers to shoot at the local Korean fruit and vegetable market.

A few tips for shooting flowers:

1) Get in really close. you don’t have to show the whole flower. As you get closer in, the image may be begin to have an abstract quality – not a bad thing.

2) Make sure the flower is still (shoot inside, or outside with no wind). Make sure the camera is still – the best way to do this easily is with a tripod.

more tips below –

3)  Consider buying a macro (that is, close-up) lens. For these images I used a Nikon Micro (Nikon’s word for Macro) 105mm F2.8 lens. The macro lens can provide really nice detail for close-up shots.

4) Focus very carefully. Macro lenses tend to have a very narrow depth of field, so the area in focus may be very small. decide what you want to have sharp in the image. Focus manually. Autofocus may not yield a good result.

5) Watch the background. You don’t want it to compete with your flower. I have in the studio a bunch of poster-sized boards of many colors, which I used here.

again, more tips below….

6) Try lighting from different angles.  The star-gazer lily at the top was mostly backlit, so you can see some of the translucent qualities of the flower. Both of the gerbers were lit primarily from the side, to show dimension. Avoid lighting from behind the camera – will usually make a dull, flat image.

7) Take lots of pictures.  They’re free (in digital, anyway). Try different angles. Try shots you think might not work – they often do. Take risks.

Lastly,  take time to marvel at the incredible variety of the natural world. If you believe in God (as I do) , give thanks for the incredible beauty God has created for us to enjoy. If you’re not a believer, be grateful anyway!

I’m having a solo photography exhibit in the fall (watch this space for details). The theme will be “Up Close.”  All or most of the pictures will be close-ups – of people and other subjects, such as flowers.  Hope to see you at the show!

3 Responses

  1. Eli says:

    well done, Blake! I really like the technique of ‘getting in close’ and not worrying about capturing the entire flower. It does indeed create a very cool abstract effect.

    keep it up!!


  2. Debbie says:

    Wow! I love the way the up close photos help you see other aspects of the flowers that seem to be hidden when we view them normally. Thanks for all the tips; I need all the help I can get taking photos of my flowers. I’m still working out how to use the macro.

  3. thanks, Deb and Eli for your kind comments. Deb – happy to help you with the macro lens anytime. it does take a bit of effort for sure. all best wishes, Blake

Comment to Debbie

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