For this month, June 2020, the theme challenge is “Garden or Wild Flowers”.
Photographing garden or wild flowers can be done close to home and give you a chance to share some of your own flowers that you are growing, are close to your home, or close to your heart.
Pick a subject that is important to you, such as this image of a tulip that was a gift to my wife’s mom while she was in the hospital a few years ago. Since her passing we had placed it in our garden and it comes back every year providing us with a beautiful memory. The rain drops on the grass even provide an added feeling to the story of the image representing tears of sorrow and of joy as we remember her.
The basic things to consider while photographing flowers include; light, depth of field, clean background, with the main part of the flower being sharp.
You do not require a macro lens, but should have a focal length at or longer than 50mm up to even 600mm, which depends on the situation and how you want the final image to look. If you are using a mobile phone pick portrait mode, or the highest optical zoom, and take advantage of some of the built in presets to help blur the background.
Here are some tips to help with creating a successful flower image. Pick an aperture and focal length that will allow for the background to be blurred, while remembering that the further the background is away from your subject the better the background. You can even use a piece of colored paper or printed abstract to place behind your flower to create a pleasing background. Use a reflector, or scrim to help control the light. The distance from your subject also plays a part with the background, but more importantly how much of the flower will be sharp. Get as close as possible to fill the frame, but make sure the important part of the flower is sharp. Tweak your distance to the flower, adjust your aperture, or change your focal length to achieve exactly what you are looking for.
Show us what image you create that showcases your flower(s).
Students are encouraged to develop their ability to tell a story or invoke an emotion, as well as how to plan and troubleshoot while creating their images. As such it’s important to not only create the image but to also include a “title”, and write a short paragraph about; how they came up with the idea, any interesting back ground that compelled them to make the image, and describe any techniques on how they overcame any obstacles.
As always with our monthly theme challenges we try to seek out an instructional resource, below is a YouTube video link to help with some hints and ideas.
Garden or Wild Flower Photography instructional aid:
■ My 8 Best Tips for Flower Photography: by Micael Widell (8min 9sec)
An important part of improving your photography is practice, which is one aspect of the monthly theme challenge, in addition you have an opportunity to learn about different genres, techniques and tips.