Well, other than photos of the family (“…and that’s aunt Alice after she shaved her mustache…”), what winds up on the walls of most people’s homes are images of landscapes, animals and flowers. Rather than purchase a framed picture at the local big box store and pay a premium, wouldn’t you rather just frame your own? Sure! It’s cheaper and you get vast bragging rights.
Also, flowers are by default the perfect subject. They are not reticent of being photographed, they stay in the same spot, and they are not too difficult to make beautiful (unlike, perhaps, aunt Alice).
A few caveats:
• Some of the tips listed apply to ALL photography, some only to flower photography. I will try to differentiate these.
• Some of the tips apply to ALL cameras, some only to more advanced SLR cameras with interchangeables lenses. I will differentiate these as well.
• Mix and match the tips below for various interesting results.
That being said, here are some of the tips I keep in mind when doing some nature photography.
Step 1: Lighting
Shoot during the “magic hours”. These are usually defined as the first and last hours of sunlight during the day. I fudge with this a little and usually shoot at any time that my shadow is longer than I am tall. Since the sunlight has to travel through more atmosphere at that time of day, the light is redder (warmer) than at other times. Also, the sunlight is diffused more in the atmosphere which makes for softer light and shadows that are less harsh.
By comparison, midday light is very white and casts very dark shadows, making it difficult to balance highlights and shadows.