There are so many beautiful blooms around South West Edinburgh just now – crying out to be captured for posterity. In order to take great flower pictures, you don’t need any fancy camera gear but it’s good to have an eye for detail. This article will help show you how you can do that with a digital compact camera.
Many of us have taken a picture of a flower and thought it was perfect – that is until we saw it enlarged or on a computer screen and we find that the picture came out blurry or slightly out of focus. Blurry or pictures are easy to avoid if we can follow a few simple steps.
You should always plan to take flower pictures when the lighting is good and the air is still (no wind). Even the most gentle breeze can cause enough of a quiver in the stem to create blur in a close up. Usually dawn is the best time of day when the wind is the calmest. This is also a time when you’ll often find the best lighting.
But if you don’t want to get up early, you can still get great flower pictures. Other good times for lighting are the hour before sunset and anytime there is high cloud giving overcast light. These times offer soft light without the dark, harsh shadows. The time right before sunset and just after dawn are perfect for adding a warm glow to your picture. Remember if it’s a little windy, you’ll need to set up a blind or a temporary windbreak.
Once you find a good subject now its time to turn it into a perfect photo.
You can also “pretty” up a flower that may have 1 or 2 ragged petals, by simply removing the damaged ones. If removing the petals will leave a gap then leave it alone and move on to another flower.
Look for tiny bugs and loose particles like dust, and then remove with them with a soft, makeup or artist’s brush. For a dewy look, gently sprinkle or spray the petals with a few drops of water.
Now it’s time to compose your picture.
Look at how the light plays from different angles. You might also look at taking your picture from different angles or vantage points. Try lying on the ground for a bug’s eye view or holding the camera high above the flower for a bird’s eye view.
Don’t cast a shadow over the flower. If the flower is back lit, you can avoid lens flare by wearing a broad brim hat or by using a lens shade to block light from entering the lens.
You also want to look at the background tones. Contrasting tones will add depth and make your flower stand out.
Whenever you see an image you want to capture, fill the frame with the flower or use a classic composition method such as the “rule of thirds” where maybe the flower is two thirds of the image and the sky is one third.
Then focus on the part of the image you want to be the sharpest – this could be the stamen, a ladybird, etc. Then holding very steady, deep breath in, then press the shutter.