I’m going to be writing a 5 part series on Flower Photography.
- Basics Tips for Outdoor Flower Photography
- Tips Composition and Different Sized Flowers
- Tips on Various Types of Lenses
- Tips on Various Angles for Flowers
- Tips with Black and White Photography
I hope you enjoy this series for flowers. If you want to check out other Tips from Cee.
In this Tip, I will attempt to give you some ideas for floral photography. Flowers are my favorite thing to photograph because I adore getting up close and personal with them.
This first tip is really for any outdoor photography. Don’t take photo directly in the bright sun. You will get petals that are burned out.
For example, this sunflower below I took on a bright sunny day. The left of the photo (the direction the sun was shining from) is really bright. The sun actually burnt out the edges of the petals on most of the sunflower.. When I take a photo like this I have a couple of options. Hit delete, which is most like the case or possibly crop it and do some extreme editing to make it normal looking.
Look at the photo above, once again and notice where your eye immediately goes to. Yes, it is that horrible bright left side. That is natural. Our eyes immediately go to the brightest spot on any photo. Make a note to yourself, unless that white is what your story is all about, avoid the bright sun at all costs. It washes out your photo and people won’t notice anything beyond that.
Here is another photo that is only slightly to bright. I probably could play with this in editing, but have chosen not to publish it.
There are several ways to avoid the bright sun. And that is what this post is all about.
Try to take photos on cloudy days. You will most likely not have any burnt out areas. Although it will cut down shadows.
In these photos, the photo on the left demonstrates that I took the photo on a gray day with the full tree in view. The photo on the right, shows close up of a small portion of the blossoms, the white is not burned out at all.
Ways to avoid Burnt Out
Use your body to shade a single flower. You may have to twist your body a little to get a good angle for the flower you desire. This is actually my preferred method, since I am usually out in the flower fields and gardens by myself. Most commonly, I do this at the dahlia farm when I’m photographing them, since in late August the sun is usually quite bright. It is hard to show a photo where I used this technique.
A couple other tips are, when you are with someone, they can use their body a shade shield too. There are collapsible sun reflectors made for photography. They are helpful too, especially if someone else can help shade.
I personally don’t use the reflector shades since I don’t have a free hand to hold the shade myself. In the photo below, a photographer used had someone hold the reflector shade. The shades are fun to play with and come in a variety of sizes. You may find you prefer using them.
This brings up the last point I want to make. If you notice in the photo above, you don’t see long shadows, because they were taking the photo midday. You will have to take my word, the tulips aren’t nearly as vibrant either with the sun directly overhead. The time of day you take your photo can make a huge difference to.
Try to avoid taking flower photos between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on sunny days. Depending on the time of year you may need to extend those hours. The sun is usually at its highest point in the sky. When taking photos close to sunrise and sunset, you will get much longer shadows.
The tulip field below, the sun was behind me and the angle of the sun was much lower in the sky. since it was about two hours from sunset. You will notice the tulips are much more vibrant from the yellow setting sun. You can also notice the shadows are longer. Notice the dad’s shadow on the ground and the tulip shadow on the boy’s blue shirt.
I took this photo of a lily at 9:30 in the morning. The sun rising in front of the lily and the sun was nearly overhead. I stood a little to one side and was able to capture the wonderful shadow.
This should give you some food for thought regarding flower photography. See you in my next post.
I will leave you with some of my favorite flowers.
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