- Try different times of day.
“I like to shoot at sunset or sunrise. Those are the better times,” says Braught. “But flower photography is forgiving, because you can also take shots in the middle of the day and play with the shadows.”
- Don’t aim for perfection.
Accidents can bring about interesting results. “Not every photo is going to be technically perfect, and sometimes your best ones aren’t,” says Braught. “You can capture movement or blur that brings in some other emotion you wouldn’t normally get.”
Use a spray bottle to add water droplets. Frame your lens with plastic wrap as a diffuser for dreamy light distortion. Create lens flare by holding fallen flower petals near the edge of the lens. Refract the light shining onto the flower with a prism or fractal lens. “It’s always fun to experiment,” says Braught. “Anything see-through can be held in front of your lens to distort things in unique ways.”
You can learn a lot from flowers.
Flowers are a model even the shyest photographer can direct. And their colors and textures are a playground for getting better at photographic techniques and camera settings. Learn some of the lessons below through flower photography.
Composition is key.
“The number one thing I learned from flower photography was composition, putting your main subject in the right place in the photograph,” says Boyd, “and using objects in the foreground and background to frame your subject.” Use the rule of thirds to build a good composition — no matter if you’re doing a close-up of a single flower or a full frame of an entire garden — and take a lot of photos at different angles. “Try getting down at the ground level and shooting up at it,” says Boyd. “Taking photos from above can be great as well,” Braught explains, “The thing about flowers is they can look completely different from different angles of even just a few degrees.”
It’s better to underexpose.
“Always err on the side of underexposing your photos,” explains Braught. “Whether you’re shooting on your phone or a DSLR, once you get into post-processing, you can always lighten the photo, because the data is still there. But if a photo is overexposed, the data is destroyed for any blown-out areas.” Turn your exposure down a touch on your phone or narrow your aperture by closing your f-stop to a higher number value. Increasing your shutter speed can also help.
A shallow depth of field is forgiving.
Shooting with a shallow depth of field keeps the subject of your photo in focus and everything in the foreground or background blurry. A shorter focus distance is helpful when you want to take emphasis away from certain objects in your frame that are less attractive. “A building in the background or trash on the ground, a lot of times, a shallow enough depth of field will wash that out for you so you don’t have to worry about it,” says Braught.