Tips for taking more artistic shots of flowers and plants – and the ideal kit for the job
Creating beautiful pictures of flowers and plants requires good light and an eye for detail. With this set of simple tips, you’ll be creating colourful close-up shots in no time.
1. Approach flower portraits in the same way that you would portraits of people. Consider the quality and direction of light, and make sure there are no distractions in the background.
2. The diffused light of bright but overcast days allows you to reveal the delicate details in the structures of plants. In sunny conditions, try shooting in the shade or focus on backlit petals and leaves instead.
3. Finding the right angle is important. Some flowers benefit from being shot ‘eye to eye’, which can require sitting or lying on the ground, while flat leaves and wider blooms may fill the frame better if shot directly from above.
4. If you’re shooting outdoors, be prepared to do some minor ‘gardening’ to improve the shot, such as removing dead leaves from the foreground. If the background is uninspiring, try using a sheet of white or coloured card to create a clean backdrop.
5. To isolate a single flower among a sea of colour, zoom in with a long lens. With your camera in Aperture Priority (Av) mode, set a large aperture such as f/4 or f/2.8, and focus on the flower.
6. A macro lens will enable you to get frame-filling shots of small details in flowers and leaves, although you’ll have to focus carefully. To help you with precise focus, use manual focus in Live View mode.