Spring has sprung! 5 tips for flower photography

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Spring is here, which means photographers everywhere will be seeking out blossoming garden beds, sprouting plants, flourishing hedges and trees for the best flower photos. Check out 5 photography tips and tricks from Ted’s Cameras on capturing the best flower photos this spring.

#1 Select the best camera for spring photography

Nobody is suggesting you purchase a whole new camera for each of the four seasons. However, you may want to consider the capabilities of your current set-up, namely the size of the sensor. A full-frame sensor will consistently outperform a crop sensor, allowing you to better capture the intricacies of spring lighting and the bright and vibrant natural colours of flower beds. 

That being said, a digital camera with a crop sensor will still do a much better job at capturing the beauty of spring than your smartphone. If you are still relying on your smartphone camera, now may be the perfect time to upgrade to a DSLR or Mirrorless camera.

Image: Ted's cameras
Image: Ted's cameras

Like DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras, Interchangeable lens cameras allow greater creativity, flexibility, and adaptability when taking flower photos. As a result of the larger sensor, DSLRs and Mirrorless models are some of the best cameras for Bokeh - a fancy word photographers use to refer to blurred backgrounds or the depth of field. Bokeh is a desirable aspect of professional images, and when done correctly, will make your subject stand out in your spring photos.

Bokeh is also directly affected by specific camera lenses, such as macro lenses and their aperture size. The aperture is the size of the opening at the front of the lens. The larger the hole, the more light is allowed in, creating a wider depth of field, and therefore more Bokeh. Conversely, the smaller the opening, the less light is allowed in, giving you a smaller depth of field, with less Bokeh.

Top Tip: Use a tripod! Tripods are a photographer’s best friend and the easiest way to ensure you have as much control over your compositions as possible – mount your camera on a tripod, and you’ll never have to worry about shaky and blurry images again.

#2 Use a macro lens

Macro lenses are designed to focus on subjects closer to the lens, which allows you to fill your frame with your subject, e.g. bugs and insects, and of course, close-up flower photography.

All camera lenses come with a minimum focal distance, the shortest distance a lens can focus. With a macro lens, you can get close and focus on the most minute details, emphasising leaves and flower petals. Macro lenses also typically feature larger aperture settings, allowing photographers to shoot wide open with a shallow depth of field – perfect for capturing morning dew on flower petals.

Photography Idea: Water droplets that gather on flowers can add an enticing everyday element to your images that is intriguing, both on a visual and a conceptual level. Add another level of detail to your photos by playing around with lighting angles to produce exciting colours and reflections.

Image: Ted's cameras

#3 Make the most of overcast days

While it’s tempting to stay inside on overcast days and wait for the sun to come out, cloudy conditions actually provide a soft and diffused light, which is excellent for taking photos of flowers. Unlike sunny, daylight conditions, which often overexpose portions of your image while steeping the rest in shadow, overcast conditions offer flat and even light, making it easier to properly expose your flower photos.

#4 Shoot into the sun

Some rules are made to be broken, and this is one of them. While you should never stare directly into the sun with your eyes, don’t be afraid to aim towards the sun for floral photography. Just like in a studio situation, placing a bright light behind your subject - the flowers - is a framing technique known as backlighting.

Backlit subjects, especially backlit flowers, glow wonderfully, producing a dreamy, otherworldly effect. The best way to actively seek this look is to plan your shoots for late afternoons on bright and clear days. For best results, shoot during golden hour, the short window of time just after sunrise and before sunset, that produces a golden hue.

Image: Ted's cameras
Image: Ted's cameras

 #5 It’s all about photo composition

Composition is the name of the game, so let’s round up the top three composition tips for capturing great flower pictures. The Rule of Thirds is always a winner: separate your frame into three segments vertically and horizontally to create two invisible lines, and place your main subject where these lines meet.

You could also use leading lines to direct your viewer’s eyes to a specific part of your subject. Flower stems and branches, for example, are excellent examples of leading lines. Or make the most of negative space, using some blank or empty space in your image to emphasise your subject.

Harness these spring photo tips for capturing the best flower this year. Browse Ted’s Cameras blog for more photography tips and tricks, or visit their website to get all the equipment you need! 

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