Monday, January 15, 2007

Photographing Flowers

The only way that you will capture beautiful flower pictures is to always use a tripod. You will also need the type of tripod that can get close to the ground. I shot this Yellow Columbine in the Canadian Rockies and the flower was only about 6" from ground to flower bloom. For the best results I always put my focus on the front of the flower, or as in this case, the side of the flower, and adjust my f-stop to carry the resolution into and around the flower bloom. Of course weather conditions wil factor into the success of the shot. Wind is a killer of course. Generally, you will need to stop down your shutter speed to get to the optimim f-stop to carry the resolution into the flower. I have found that F-16 works really well for this, depending on how big or deep the flower bloom.

A successful way to bring out the beauty of the bloom is to find the right light angle. As in this case I waited for the sun to get in a position that fully lit the bloom but was blocked from the background of my shot. As you can see, this technique has the ablitiy to frame the bloom in a dark background, and isolate the beauty of the bloom.

This Water Lily shot is another prime example of isolating the bloom of a flower. This was shot in a botanical garden pond.
The sun's position was at about 10 o'clock in the morning so any refection from the bloom in the pond water would be delicate as opposed to straight overhead which would create very sharp and harsh refection in the pond water below the Lily bloom.

Believe it or not, bad weather can be a boost in photographing flowers. As in this example, the rain left delicate drops of moisture throughout the flowers and the clouds created a great flat lighting to bring out the different hues of pink and white colors in the these roses.

As you can see from these last two shots, creating a composition by zooming into the bloom can highlite the form and design of the bloom. While setting up on each of these blooms I kept moving my focus point around the bloom until there was a strong composition with an almost abstract quality to the shot.

As always I shot each and every one of these blooms with a tripod. Don't try this at home with out one!

Equipment used in these flower shots:
Tripond - Bogen w/ Manfrotto Proball 468RC Head
Camera - Canon EOS-3
Lens - Canon 24-70 mm F-2.8
Film - Fuji Velvia asa 50


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