- Tripod- Vanguard's Alta Pro 263AGH is light-weight and its rotating centre column will help get you closer to the Daffodil heads.
- Wide-angle lens - Lets you get close but allows excellent depth-of-field
- Macro lens
- Polarising filter
A hazy day when the bright sun is slightly hidden by clouds is perfect for flower photography as the sun still gives off reasonably strong light without creating too much contrast. Keep an eye out for flare, though, and use a lens hood or your hand to shield the lens.
Flowers tend to sway even in the gentlest of breezes so be prepared for spending quite a bit of time waiting for the air to be still. You can use a plamp to hold to flower steady or use a piece of card to shield it from the wind if you don't want to wait.
If you have a large patch in your garden that's a blanket of yellow get out your wide-angle lens which will still let you get in close but with the added bonus of excellent depth-of-field. The flowers will appear smaller but the convergence will make them look like they're reaching out towards the edge of the frame.
If you're shooting onto a background that's full of wheelbarrows, spades and other garden clutter, try singling out one Daffodil that can be photographed against a hedge, for example, or create your own background from a piece of card that you can put between the clutter and your subject. Make sure you're using a tripod where the legs can splay out to give you the low angle you need to shoot right into the patch of daffodils. From here, you'll be able to shoot up so the flower head sits against the blue sky. Just pop on a polariser if the sky is a little too bright. A more unusual approach is to shoot from under the flower head, turning it into a silhouette against the bright sky. If you don't want it to appear as a silhouette use exposure compensation and expose one stop over what your camera considers to be correct.
Focus can be a little tricky so use the smallest aperture you can to stop blur creeping into your image. Of course, if you want to the back petals to fall gradually out of focus use a wide aperture, focusing on the tip of the petal nearest to your lens.
The most obvious way to shoot a single head is from overhead but if you position your camera so you can still see the front of the flower but you're positioned slightly to the side, almost as if you were shooting a portrait, you'll produce a more unique result. Use your macro lens or the macro setting on your compact to crop in tight, filling the frame with the head and petals to produce shots that are bursting with colour and full of striking shapes. Just remember to throw the rest of the scene out of focus with a wider aperture and offset the stamen for a more pleasing balance.
Find the tripod and camera bag to suit your needs at www.vanguardworld.com