HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH FLOWERS – GEORGE PROXENOS
Preparation is key
Getting your gear together and in working order, choosing the right lens, having a tripod set up and then preparing to take the image. Pause and examine your subject before pressing the shutter. If you would like to learn about macro photography then why not consider doing the Advanced Digital Photography course?
Some questions to ask:
- how to crop it – get in close or take a wider angle shot?
- what is the focal point/point of interest? Insect, stem, colour, texture, shape etc?
- what angle will you shoot from to get the best perspective?
- how much depth of field do you want?
- how is the subject lit?
- which flower is the best specimen for your photo?
- what distractions are there in the background and foreground?
- which is the best format to shoot in? (horizontal or vertical)
Identify a focal point
As in all types of photography you need to think about where you want your viewer’s eye to be drawn. Consider setting it off centre using the rule of thirds – but do find something in your frame that will grab your viewer’s eye and carefully think about how to position it.
Sometimes going in extra close and focusing in on a part of the flower can create wonderful and unusual images that take on an abstract quality. Look for contrasting colors, patterns and textures.
Focus is Key
Sharp focus is important in all forms of photography but in flower macro photography it is crucial and even a tiny adjustment can have massive implications for your shot as the depth of field is so small. In macro photography your depth of field is a game of millimeters so attention to detail in focusing is something to be worked upon.
Ideally your subject will be wonderfully lit without you needing to offer any assistance, however the world of outdoor macro photography is often far from ideal and there might be a need to intervene with either artificial light or some kind of reflector
Point and Shoot Cameras – if you’re shooting with a point and shoot camera with no interchangeable lenses you’ll obviously have less options here.
You will probably have the ability to switch your camera into macro mode or super macro mode (which will allow you to focus a little closer and will tell the camera to use a large aperture giving you a shallow depth of field).
DSLRs – if you have a camera that allows interchangeable lenses you might like to consider buying a purpose built macro lens. Most of the major camera manufacturers offer a range of them.