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Flowers are so cliche when it comes to photography… but that doesn’t stop most of us from shooting them! Heck, some photographers even specialize in flower photography and they do a darn good job of it. If you’re getting bored with your current bag-o-tricks for photographing flowers, scan through these tips and get inspired to try something different.
1. DITCH THE COLOR
Flower photos are generally full of vibrant colors, but that’s not the only way to do it. Black and white flower photos can bring much needed attention to details and textures that would otherwise be masked by the blinding colors.
photo credit: linh.ngân
2. USE AS A FOREGROUND
The flowers don’t always need to be the center of attention. Use them as a foreground or background to lay down some color for your main subject. Bonus points for using complimentary colors in your composition.
photo credit: creativesam
3. LOOK INDOORS
Flowers are inside too! Not every flower photo needs to be 100% “natural” — try your hand at some still life.
photo credit: mamako7070
4. DOUBLE EXPOSE
Flowers can make for pretty cool double exposures. Experiment with combinations of up-close and far-off shots of the same flowers.
photo credit: Maco@Sky Walker
5. GO ABSTRACT
Flowers have great curves — so use that to your advantage. A good macro setup will allow you to capture abstract images of the colors, curves, and textures.
photo credit: nothing
6. REFLECT WITH WATER
Reflection can be a powerful composition technique, and flower photography is no exception.
photo credit: peasap
7. FOCUS ON SYMMETRY
Reflections are a type of symmetry, but flowers often exhibit another type of symmetry: radial. Use the radial symmetry of most flowers to create a strong composition.
photo credit: josef.stuefer
8. PAINT YOUR OWN FLOWER
Light painting is another interesting style of photography, so why not mix it up with flower photography?
photo credit: Brian Auer
9. CATCH A BUG
That’s right, catch a bug in your frame. Those little insects can often add a lot to your image by catching the eye of the viewer. Anything unexpected will generate interest.
photo credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell
10. BE A SMURF
Sometimes you have to get a little dirty to get the shot. Macro photographers will often wear grungy clothes for nature outings (or bring a blanket/tarp) because they know they’ll be laying on the ground at some point. Get down there and see how the world looks from the perspective of your feet.
photo credit: ♥siebe ©
11. FIND URBAN FLOWERS
Flowers grow in cities too! Next time you’re in an urban environment, keep your eyes peeled for flowers growing naturally or even landscaped flowers.
photo credit: Pedro Moura Pinheiro
12. DO THE DEWDROP TRICK
Most of us have seen these types of photos with the flower inside the dewdrop. Still, it’s a pretty cool trick and you can do it with more than just flowers.
photo credit: ~jjjohn~
13. USE AS A PROP
If you’re doing people shots or portrait photography, try adding flowers as a secondary subject or background.
photo credit: Simon Pais-Thomas
Do you have any flower photography tips or examples? If so, leave them in the comments below!
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This one was taken along the shores of La Jolla, California. I was out with my wife this weekend and we decided to take a short trip down the Pacific Coast Highway from Carlsbad to La Jolla. The shores of La Jolla are some of the most scenic in the area — lots of small cliffs and sandstone formations, caves, vegetation, tide pools, etc. I shot this scene with my Sigma 10-20mm lens at the widest focal length of 10mm. I’ve been ignoring that lens for a while, so I put it on the camera and left it there all day… well, I had my film camera with me too so I wasn’t completely limited on focal length.
- Unprocessed RAW
Here’s what the unprocessed RAW image looked like — pretty dull and a little washed out.
- Processed RAW
I cooled the white balance slightly, increased the contrast, increased the vibrance and saturation, and added a few other minor tweaks to the exposure settings.
- LAB Saturation
I used my LAB Saturation Photoshop Action to bring the colors out a little better. This helped to remove some of the muddy haze in the sky.
Selective dodging around the green of the waves and on the left side of the flowers at the bottom of the frame.
Selective burning in the sky and on the right side of the flowers to add more balance.
WEEK 1 = CLEAR
The February Challenge is all about color – you pick a color each week and document those colors. So my first color will be my favorite color… clear. It’s a great color because it takes on the color from the things around it. So it’s every color and no color all at the same time!
Now I realize that many of you may think that clear is not a color, but ask yourself this… what color are your windows? What color are your glass dishes? What color is water (assuming it’s clean)? How about diamonds? My wife hates the fact that I insist clear be my favorite color, so this week is dedicated to her.
This particular image is an abstract of a CLEAR glass candy dish lid positioned on top of a purple DVD-R with an orange background (a shirt). The DVD served to reflect some nice rainbow colors that you can see in the refraction of the CLEAR glass.
So is anybody else joining in with the February Challenge?