Flowers are eye-candy. They bloom in a riot of colors – the colors of nature. It is amazing that nature came up with the idea of flowering plants only 130 million years ago, after experimenting with pine trees and dinosaurs; and that too to entice bees, birds and insects . Clever! Some say that all flowers are just leaves masquerading . That is clever too. But it doesn’t matter. The colorful camouflage is what attracts photographers.
“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen.
and waste its sweetness on the desert air”
Despite the quote, flowers are perhaps the most photographed subjects (after children & women?). But each flower is unique, nature’s gift to us to gaze and admire; so is each photo of a flower. This post has a sample of my flowers. All my photos are hand-held shots; most where taken by a 100 mm fixed focal length lens. However, a few of those beautiful flowers were captured by my iPhone as well as by a point-and-shoot camera, that too in ordinary places like road-side gardens and pavements – proof that it is not the camera or the device but the ability to see beauty that matters 🙂
So what are the tips for shooting flowers? A common advice is to shoot laterally – which I think should be used wisely. Most flowers look pretty only when shot from above – capturing the arrangement of their petals and doing justice to their colors. Some of my shots do that, filling the entire frame. Long flowers especially with beautiful sepals and stamens are ideal for shooting laterally. The other aspect where most people make mistakes, me included, is in the depth of field. Especially when a flower has many petals like a daisy or chrysanthemum, opening the lens wide could throw some parts of the flower out of focus. I have found f/4 to f/8 to be ideal to ensure that the full flower is in focus. But zooming in always helps. For serious shots, I use a 100 mm macro lens which has yielded good results.