When it comes to nature photography, there are so many elements to capture with your lens. For some, they wish to focus on landscapes; others are captivated by wildlife. This blog is for nature photography enthusiasts who love photographing flowers.
Just as flowers attract bees, they also catch the eye of photographers because of their interesting shapes and textures and vivid colors. You may be under the impression that photographing flowers is simple because, after all, they aren’t going to run away from you like wildlife might. However, flowers will move with the wind, and when you use a macro lens (or macro mode on your camera), movement will be more apparent. Additional factors that you must consider when photographing flowers include composition and lighting. In this blog, we will go over these two key elements to flower photography.
Composition is how different elements in a photograph are placed. A well-composed photograph creates a sense of balance and unity in the photo, with every element working with the main subject of the photo. New photographers often inadvertently include too many elements in one photo, cluttering the composition. You can make for much better composition simply by removing some of the elements that don’t add anything to your main element. When setting up the frame, ensure that there are no distracting elements creeping in and taking away from your subject. As for where to place your main element, you may want to experiment a bit with this. Sometimes the flower being at the center of the frame is best, but sometimes it looks better when it is to the side slightly. You can make your subject more dominant through either size or color. You can make your subject stand out by making it the largest part of the photo, or by focusing on the most vivid and colorful flower. You could also us focus to make your subject more dominant in the frame.
Additionally, you can experiment with composition by taking both horizontal and vertical shots. While it is more common for photographers to shoot horizontally, a nice vertical shot can also be beautiful. Include both for more flexibility.
Next, you want to consider the lighting of your photo. You may be under the assumption that there isn’t much to be done about lighting in nature photography; after all, you can’t turn off the sun! Fortunately, photographers have come up with many tricks to ensure you can get optimal light, even outdoors. In general, bright light is not ideal for flower photography because it creates bright spots of light in photographs and often creates dark shadows. Most of the time, a soft, diffused light is best for flower photography, so you want your photo to be shady. Fortunately, you can create shade with the use of an umbrella or reflector. Flash is sometimes a good way to add saturation to the color of the flower and create more emphasis on your main element, as the background will be darker in contrast. Additionally, backlighting the flower can draw more attention to its shape and can light up the petals, creating a sense of drama. Finally, if you find that the background of your photo is distracting from the main element, you can simply place a black card behind the flower and use the flash to create a vivid photo with no distraction from the subject.
When you’re ready to try out your new photography skills, come on one of our photo adventures! Our skilled instructors will instruct you during photography workshops, then take you out into the field so you can capture the rugged beauty of the Canadian wilderness for yourself.