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Flower Photography at Its Best

Updated on May 31, 2015

How to create flower images that are amongst the very best.

Welcome! Here we aim to present the best that we can find in Flower Photography.

This will include: examples of the best, techniques that will get us there, books that have been written about it, equipment that will help us to improve, and anything else that is relevant to taking great photographs of flowers - photographs that we will be proud to show our friends or even enter into a photographic competition.

I will lead the way, but you must contribute as well if we are to meet the needs of the many who are fed up with the average (or less) and want the very best. (All images Copyright: John C Doornkamp)

My credentials and background in photography

For many years I took photographs as a part of my professional life as a Physical Geographer. Now I am taking photographs for entirely aesthetic reasons. "Why the change?" you may ask. This change was stimulated by an invitation to join a photographic society. The images that I saw there were mind-glowingly stunning. Here were ordinary people, just like me, taking photographs that brought the beauty and wonder of the world to life. I knew straightaway this was for me - so long as I could master the skills and have the "eye" to see the "really stunning picture".

Very quickly I learned my limitations. The only route to greater success was practice, advice, practice, advice, and yet more practice and advice.

Now, after 20 years of practicing and hearing advised I want to try to pass some of that on to others.

For those of you interested on flower photography this is the place where that will happen. For those interested in other aspects of photography I have prepared other lenses (just refer to the list of my lenses elsewhere on this screen).

I want all of you to enrich your photography by feeling more and more in control of what you are doing. Just keep practicing, and don't be resistant to taking advice.

Soon it may be your turn to try to inspire others. In the meantime - good photography!

Photo Tips

Photo Tips: General Comment

What style do you favour?

Broadly speaking there are two trends in flower photography. The first, which most of us pursue, is to photograph flowers in their natural habitat, as we see them and when we see them. The second is the kind of photography that concentrates on gaining an artistic image that takes the flower out of its environment and sees it as an "object".

Most of the Photo Tips that follow will be for the former group of photographers rather than the latter.

I greatly admire the work of the "floral photo artist", there have been some wonderful images taken by this group. However, it is not mainstream photography, and I sense that more of you would like tips on photographing flowers in the garden.

To test this I have included an opportunity for you to tell me where your interests lie. You could prove my assumption to be wrong.

Photo Tips 1: Indoors or Outside?

Best place for flower photography

One of the major discussions in flower photography is : Do I photograph the flower where it is growing, or do I take it indoors?

Why would you take it indoors? The answer is two-fold: 1) you can control the light falling on the flower, and 2) you can get away from movement caused by the wind.

However, there are those who say that a flower should remain in its natural setting and you should do your best to get your pictures there. Others claim that they need the control that bringing a flower indoors can provide. I would be interested to know where you stand on this one.

I carry a white reflector that allows me to shield the flower from the wind whilst also giving me the opportunity to throw reflected light on to the shady side of the flower. The only flowers that I shoot indoors are those that come from a florists shop.

Photo Tips 2: Time of day

At what time should I take photographs in the garden?

Best time is usually early morning or late afternoon.

I favour early morning because that is the time when the air is most likely to be still, the natural lighting is soft, and there may be a bit of dew around to add water droplets to your flowers.

Flower Photography: Poll 1 - Inside or out of doors?

Do you take most of your flower photographs indoors or out of doors?

See results

Flower Photography: Poll 2 - In natural environment or as "artistic objects" ?

Do you like to take flower photographs in their natural setting or as artistic "studio" objects?

See results

FLOWERS AND YET MORE FLOWERS - An illustration of flower photography (All images Copyright: John C Doornkamp)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dark background - without any distractions- can be good when you wasn't to contrite attention on the flower (alstroemaria)Flower photography takes us into the art of close-up (macro-) photography.Careful choice of camera angle and the use of a short depth of field (low f-number) provides a clean background to the flower head.Photograph flowers just for their patterns, colours and textures.
Dark background - without any distractions- can be good when you wasn't to contrite attention on the flower (alstroemaria)
Dark background - without any distractions- can be good when you wasn't to contrite attention on the flower (alstroemaria)
Flower photography takes us into the art of close-up (macro-) photography.
Flower photography takes us into the art of close-up (macro-) photography.
Careful choice of camera angle and the use of a short depth of field (low f-number) provides a clean background to the flower head.
Careful choice of camera angle and the use of a short depth of field (low f-number) provides a clean background to the flower head.
Photograph flowers just for their patterns, colours and textures.
Photograph flowers just for their patterns, colours and textures.

Flower Photography Books on Amazon 1 - The Best in eBooks - Amazon Kindle Books

AmazonKindle is a great source for books on flower photography.

Remember, although these books are on the Kindle site they can be read on (almost) every digital medium (including computers, Kindle Reader, and other hand-held electronic devices).

This list will be up-dated as frequently as the appearance of new titles makes it desirable to do so.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PHOTOGRAPHING FLOWERS, PLANTS AND GARDENS (POPULAR GUIDES TO GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY Book 5)
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PHOTOGRAPHING FLOWERS, PLANTS AND GARDENS (POPULAR GUIDES TO GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY Book 5)

An easy to follow introduction to flower photography, with lots of examples and clear explanation of the methods used.

 

Picture Poll - Vote according to your taste in flower photography.

Would you give this photo more than 50% as a mark? (Image Copyright: John C Doornkamp)

See results

Do you want more on books, equipment, locations for landscape photography, workshops - just let us know here.

This is where you have a say - Where do you want this hub to take you?

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    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Very good and interesting lens that left me hungry for more! Well done!

    • john-doornkamp profile image
      Author

      john-doornkamp 3 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: Many thanks for the compliment. Ideas for more lenses for photographers are continually running through my head, but where do I find the time? Watch this space - patiently!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I sure enjoyed your flower photos. You are getting a nice range of topics here on Squidoo. Let's see more.