As the above image shows, with lenses designed for macro photography attached to a more advanced camera, you can capture great outdoor flower shots. However, just because you're a compact user doesn't mean you shouldn't shoot outdoor flower shots. In fact, with these few tips, you'll soon be on your way to capturing excellent example of flower photography.
Compact cameras come with various white balance presets that tell the camera what type of light source you are taking your photographs under. Some settings vary from camera-to-camera but there are four you'll see on all models which are: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten and Fluorescent. When working outdoors, try the Daylight setting (usually a sun symbol) when working on bright days and the Cloudy setting for overcast days.
Use Macro Mode
If you want to make one flower your subject rather than focusing on a group, switch to macro mode. The Macro mode, which has a flower head icon, can be found either on the mode dial if your camera has one, or, in your camera's menu system. Some compacts focus within millimeters of your subject while others have a minimum focusing distance of a few centimeters. However, results can still be excellent.
If you struggle to get the camera to focus on the point you want then switch your focus mode. Various modes are available and different modes suit different purposes. Spot can be useful when you have one specific flower to focus on as this mode is fixed more towards the centre of the screen. You can position your camera so the target marker is over your the subject you want to focus on then all you have to do is half press the shutter button to focus then take your shot.
Try Using Exposure Compensation
Dark backgrounds are great for shooting lighter coloured flowers against as it'll allow them to 'pop' from the frame. However, a large dark background which only has a small area of highlight in can fool your camera into thinking the scene is darker than it actually is and as a result, it can end up looking over exposed. Switching to spot metering can help with this but you may also need to have a play with exposure compensation to produce a more balanced exposure.
Think About Distance
By Zooming in closer to your subject, it'll fill the foreground of the frame and chances are the background will be thrown nicely out of focus so it's blurred. This is because the depth of field becomes shallower. Ensuring there's distance between your subject and background will also make it easier for your camera to throw the background out of focus. By doing so, the background won't be a distraction and all attention will fall on your flower rather than what's around or behind it.
Learn To Use The Histogram
LCD screens can be used to preview images on but when it's sunny it can be hard to judge if the exposure is correct and this is where the histogram comes in useful.
Basically, you don't want the graph to be touching the left or right border and you want it to peak more in the middle and get lower towards either end. There are times when this won't apply but generally, it works.
For more information on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 visit the Olympus website.