Flower Photography is a nice special niche of nature photography because a good photograph of flower bears various meanings underneath. Here are more tips. We delivered some basic tips on Flower Photography in the very previous article. As possibly clear from the previous article, you will need to avoid some of the problems inherent in this flower photography segment and also try to push your original ideas, avoiding to create the usual photos of flowers.
Flower Photography : General issues
Imagine a beautiful sunny spring day, finally you have the time to go out looking for wildflowers to photograph and maybe you also have a new macro lens to experiment. And how pleasant it is that the breeze that soothes your skin. Find the first flower and approach from a few centimeters distance, if you have a macro lens. And the nightmare begins. That slight breeze is strong enough to shake your poor subject angrily towards left and right like as if they are in a simple harmonic motion ! It is impossible to frame it properly and forget about the focus. It is not an exaggeration, it is a situation in which you will find very often. This is possibly the most frustrating and tiring part of flower photography.
Indeed, the close distance greatly reduces the depth of field. In addition, you want a lot of blur and then want use a wide opening. Thus, the focus area is greatly reduced and the movement of the flower prevents to target precisely the point that you would like to focus.
Flower Photography : Advanced Tips and Tricks
First, you can try to make a shield with your body to ‘protect’ the flower from the wind. It is the easiest solution, but it is not the most effective solution. First, you may not simply be able to block entirely the airflow. Therefore, the subject would continue to move, especially in consequence to occasional stronger gusts. The second idea is to bring the flower in a place which is more safe from the wind. This implies snatching the flower, it is not a solution much appreciated especially if you love the environment. Also because the flowers you want to photograph are usually beautiful and tearing them becomes a kind of vandalism.
A solution is to use some accessories to shield the wind. You could for example have with you a spotlight. Regardless of the size of the flower, the spotlight will be large enough to completely block the wind, until it changes the direction. Of course, at this point the greatest difficulty becomes to hold in position the reflector and photographing at the same time. For this purpose you can use a tripod to support the camera and then have your hands free to handle the spotlight. An umbrella can protect from the wind but it demands the presence of a third person.
Flower Photography : Avoid direct sunlight
Direct sun is not the best light. As often happens, the direct light of the sun, especially in the middle of the day, is too harsh, it creates a contrast that is too strong and harsh shadows are not suited to the delicacy of the flowers. Remember also that if you do not find a gray area, it is easy to create a shadow large enough to cover the flower. You can do it with your body, with the body of someone who can assist you, using a sufficient size as a reflector. If there is no wind and can use a tripod, you can safely stretch the time of exposure.
If you have only the built-in flash on your camera, try as much as possible to avoid it. Photographing flowers is useful only as fill in flash. This means that it can be used only as a weak flash to lighten the shadows and ensure a stationary subject when the light is not enough. In the presence of strong ambient light, the flash will automatically be very weak and will do his duty. In some cases you may need to set a negative flash compensation. If the sun is up, you have no flash and you have no chance of finding a shaded area or create the shadow, there is still an option.
So in this article learned about two more things – the effect of airflow and to decrease the effect and to handle the sunlight.