Sunday, May 3, 2009

Picture Composition - Shooting Flowers

If you were to walk by some wildflowers in a field, you'd be looking down at these flowers growing out of the ground. That's why, if you shoot flowers from standing position, looking down at them like we always do, your flower shots will look very average. If you want to create flower shot with some serious visual interest, you have to shoot them from an angle we don't see every day. Getting down and shooting them from their level.

Do we need Macro Lens?

You don't have to have macro (close-up) lens to take great flower shots - zoom lens work just great for shooting flowers for two reasons:
  1. you can often zoom in tight enough to have the flower nearly fill the frame, and
  2. it's easy to put the backgrund out of focus with a zoom lens.
Start by shooting in aperture priority mode (set your mode dial to A), then use the smallest aperture number your lens will allow. Then try to isolate one flower. When you do this, it puts the background out of focus, which keeps the background from distracting the eye and makes a stronger visual composition.

When is the ideal time to shoot flowers:

There are three ideal times to shoot flowers:

  1. On cloudy, overcast days: The shadows are soft, and the rich colors of the flowers aren't washed out by the harsh direct rays of the sun.
  2. Just after the rain. This is a magical time to shoot flowers. Shoot while the sky is still overcast and the raindrops are still on petals.
  3. If you shoot on sunny days, try to shoot in the morning or evening. To make the most of this light, shoot with a long zoom and position yourself so the flowers are backlit, and all you'll get some spectaular back lighting.

Fake the rain

Instead of waiting for a rainy day to shoot, take a little spray bottle with you, fill it with water, and spray the flowers with water yourself.

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