Adoramapix

Mar 2014 11

The snow is melting, the birds are chirping and the crocuses are starting to push up through the ground. It’s the first signs of spring and for those who are nature enthusiasts now is the time to gear up for flower photography. However, before you snap the shutter there are a few things you should keep in mind.  We asked Adoramapix member, Kathleen Clemons for some advice. Her flower photographer will inspire you.

1. Use Soft Lighting

Harsh, direct sunlight is the worst light you can use for flower photography. It creates washed out colors, a loss of texture, and strong shadows which chop up the petal lines of your flowers. Soft, even lighting is the best type for flowers, overcast days are wonderful for flower photography.

 

Tip 1 KathleenClemons Canna Curves
Tip 1 KathleenClemons Irises

2. Pay Attention To the Background
When you are photographing flowers, pay close attention to your background. You want a background that adds to the image, not one that distracts or pulls attention away from your subject(s). Remember, if it doesnʼt add to the image, it needs to go! Sometimes, I actually choose the background first if that is what catches my eye, and then I choose a subject that contrasts or compliments it.
Tip 2 kathleen clemons Charleston Iris web
Tip 2 Kathleen Clemons One among many site  copy
3.Get Closer

Move in closer! This eliminates anything in the background that could detract from your flower. Try filling the frame with your subject. Start shooting wide and move in closer and closer. You’ll be amazed at what you will see. Shoot many variations of your subjects, gradually moving in closer and closer, with more and more of the flower filling the frame.

Tip 3 kathleen clemons Anemone shine site copy

Tip 3 Kathleen clemonsWhisper in Pink site copy

4. Simplify Your Composition

Learn to see the distractions that pull your eye away from your subject, and eliminate or minimize them. Change your angle of view, move in closer, or use a larger aperture to blur elements that distract. Most of my flower photos are shot with large apertures to reduce depth of field and simplify the subject.  Using a selective focus lens like a Lensbaby is a great way to draw attention to one area of your composition.

Tip 4 kathleen clemonsPink Whisper web

Tip 4 Kathleen Clemons Tulip curls tex site

5.Work it!

As with all photography, beautiful and successful flower images begin with learning to see. This means really looking at your subject, from all possible angles. Examine the flower from the side. Notice the lines of the stem, stamen, the curve and texture of the petals. Now look from the top.  Notice any grains of pollen clinging to the center or spilling onto the petals. Lay down on your stomach and look up to see the underside of the flower. Sometimes this is the most beautiful part of a flower, and often overlooked. Really study your subject and shoot it from different angles, choose the best point of view. When you think you are finished with a subject, ask yourself, “Did I work it?” If not, you aren’t finished!

 

Tip 5 kathleen clemons Dancing Daisy web

Tip 5 kathleen Clemons White Dahlia site

 

Thank you Kathleen for sharing your advice with us. If you would like to see more of Kathleen’s work you can check her sites out here:

Twitter: @kathleenclemons
My photography classes: www.ppsop.com

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