Whether hiking through blooming landscapes or strolling through your own garden – the beauty of flowers fascinates us. But if you try to capture the colourfulness of the flowers or the richness of detail of the scar with your camera, many amateur photographers experience disappointment. Because it’s not that easy to take a really good picture of a flower – whether as a whole or as a detail.
Camera and lens – the right technique for perfect flower photos
In general, you can use any camera to photograph a plant. Many models already offer automatic settings that make it possible to take pictures of flowers that are quite acceptable. Nevertheless, the perfect image will probably only be created when all variables are set manually. Therefore, it is most advantageous to use a reflex camera.
Macro lenses with a focal length of 50 or 60 mm are suitable for photographing flowers – especially for close-ups rich in detail. Alternatively, a portrait telephoto lens with a focal length of approximately 90 mm can also be used. However, if the selected plant motif is a tree, a wide-angle lens would be useful.
Aperture and Shutter Speed – Camera Settings for Plant Photography
The shorter the shutter speed, the lower the risk that the plant photo will be blurred or blurred. Unfortunately, blurring is a big problem with flower pictures, as even little wind is enough to move the filigree flowers and grasses.
A shutter speed of 250ths of a second or even less reduces this risk. However, since a high depth of field is often required for a successful picture with plant images, a small aperture must be selected – high f-numbers between 11 and 22 are the best choice. Due to the small aperture, however, the shutter speed must be longer to ensure sufficient exposure.
If a large amount of blur is desired in the image section as a design element, it is possible to work with a large aperture, and the aperture number is chosen accordingly low. Due to the large aperture, comparatively more light falls on the lens, whereby shorter shutter speeds are sufficient for a good exposure of the photo. The theory may sound complicated, but it can be put into practice by a little trial and error. It is important to always take several pictures and also to vary the aperture and shutter speed in order to finally get the most beautiful picture.
- Of course it is a matter of taste and depending on the situation, whether a complete plant with surroundings, a close-up of a flower or only a small part of the plant should be photographed.
- Nevertheless, there are some basic rules to follow when selecting a picture. In plant photography, it is usually elements in the background, whether blurred or sharp, that ultimately interfere with the composition of the image.
- These can be signs like in the botanical garden or parts of fences or houses. However, other plants or parts of plants can also have a negative influence on the composition of the picture.
So try to let the entire image section affect you in the viewfinder and vary the image section. Even unusual – and mostly uncomfortable – perspectives can make taking a picture of a flower more interesting. When photographing small flowers, for example, it may be necessary to take pictures close to the ground and encounter the plant at eye level. Cameras with swivelling displays facilitate these shots. If you photograph flowers from above, you can often beautifully display the flower symmetry, but you run the risk of having a very unsettled and dark background in the picture, as soil and undergrowth are not too decorative. If images from above are desired, it is recommended to use a shallow depth of field in the image in order to blur the background.
You should also be careful when selecting the flower to be photographed. In nature, small defects such as wilted edges or insect holes may not be disturbing, but in macro photography these very defects are oversized and disturb the effect of the image. The most important things in photographing flowers are creative approaches and a little patience. Usually it is necessary to experiment with the camera settings, but also with the image details, until the perfect flower image is created.