5 Easy Tips For Photographing Spring Flowers

by Valerie Johnston | March 16, 2012

If "April showers bring May flowers," it means that you are going to have to start getting ready TODAY if you want to be prepared to capture all of that blooming about to happen. This is particularly the case if you are not an experienced shutter bug.

Why is it necessary to make preparations to just click some pictures of spring flowers? Just stop and think about this for a moment...do you know when you should head outdoors to make the images? The right time of day? If there is an "ideal" angle that you should use? Do you know how to actually compose photographs of flowers?

"Okay," we hear you saying, "got it...flowers are not all that easy to photograph...even if they do stand still and look pretty most of the time!"

Well, we are here to give you five of the best tips for making better photos of the flowers in their gardens, in public parks or even alongside the road!

how to take photos of flowers, flower photography, spring photography, DIY, camera lessonTip #1 - Understand the Light

If you talk to a professional photographer, you hear him or her use words like "sweet light" or "overcast days" and this might get you scratching your head in confusion. After all, how can light be "sweet" and how could it be wise to shoot when conditions are not sunny and bright?

Here's the first thing to know: bright sunlight might make flowers, trees, animals and people happier, but it doesn't make for the best photographs. When a flower is in full sunlight it may actually photograph a bit "washed out". This is why photographers talk so often about sweet light.

The sweet light hours of the day are around sunrise and sunset. This is light that is subdued and gentler. It never works like a flash that flattens and washes out all of the gorgeous color. The problem is that many flowers are closed up like little fists during these times of day.

This means that those spring showers and the cloudy conditions that come with them are an ideal substitute. If you see that the day is grey and cloudy, or even threatening rain, get that camera ready and start shooting. The light on an overcast day actually helps flowers to really pop with color in a photograph and to appear super saturated.

how to take photos of flowers, flower photography, spring photography, DIY, camera lessonTip #2 - Know Angles

Fine, but what if your spring season is full of flawless sunny days? Then you have to know the right angles to use. For instance:

  • Use midday sun to "backlight" flowers OR put the camera low to the ground and use the sunlight to illuminate flowers from above (this is something suggested by photographer Darren Rowse at the DigitalPhotographySchool website);
  • Use morning sun to capture things like dew or softer shadows; and
  • Use late day sunlight to catch silhouettes of flowers instead.

how to take photos of flowers, flower photography, spring photography, DIY, camera lessonTip #3 - Use Presets

If you are not "into" all of this fussing, try using the "presets" or "modes" on your digital camera instead. Dial in the macro mode and get close to a flower OR set to a landscape shot for a view of a large bed of spring bulbs. Experimentation is the key.

how to take photos of flowers, flower photography, spring photography, DIY, camera lessonTip #4 - Crop Away

We suggest you follow more flower photography advice from Darren Rowse and remember that you can have too much of a good thing. He recommends that you utilize cropping when your blooms are too abundant! Scrapbooking experts understand the power of cropping, and a bunch of nice flowers can be reduced to one or two exquisite blooms when you use the crop technique, so give it a try!

how to take photos of flowers, flower photography, spring photography, DIY, camera lesson, macro photographyTip #5 - Bring the rain

Dew drops or a nice fresh rain can add a lot of interest to your flower photos. No rain in sight? Well bring a little rain with you in the form of a spray bottle. Squirt a little of that "fresh morning dew" onto your flowers and only you will be the wiser and everyone else will wonder how you keep getting so lucky with your beautiful flower photos.

There you have it. Now you are ready to go out and photograph those beautiful spring blooms this year and for many years to come.

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Tips-n-Tricks #265

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." - Ansel Adams


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