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17 Top Tips On How To Photograph Daffodils

As it's Saint David's Day, we thought we'd kick the month off with 17 tips to help you perfect your Daffodil shots.

| Flowers and Plants

17 Top Tips On How To Photograph Daffodils: Daffodil


The national flower of Wales is the Daffodil and as it's St David's day today, where the flower is traditionally worn, we thought it was quite appropriate to kick-off March with a few tips on photographing this Welsh emblem. 


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1. Focus On One Flower 

Have a look at a clump of daffodils and single out the most interesting heads that can be photographed without too much clutter.


2. Plain Backgrounds 

In situations where there are no options to shoot the daffodil without a distracting background, place a piece of card behind the head to remove all the clutter. If you do have a clutter-free dark background in your garden, such as a conifer, you may need to underexpose by one stop using the camera's exposure compensation feature to ensure detail is picked up in the flower's petals. You could also use manual mode if your camera has that option.


3. Side-On Shots 

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 interesting result.


4. Blue Sky Backgrounds 

Try shooting upwards so you can position the head with blue sky behind it for dramatic contrast. Using a polariser will deepen the blue. Alternatively, as a member has previously suggested, use a mirror and photograph the reflection so you can include the sky without having to get low to the ground. 


17 Top Tips On How To Photograph Daffodils: Daffodil


5. Get Close-Up

Don't just shoot the whole head, go really close and offset the stamen, placing it in on the left or right third intersection of the photo for a more pleasing balance. Your camera's macro function will help you get closer to the flowerhead or fit a macro lens if your camera uses interchangeable lenses.


6. All The Flowers 

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.


7. Remove Shadows 

If it's sunny, consider shading the flower with your hand to reduce the contrast. The overall tone will be more even and longer shadows which can appear on the flower's head will be removed.


17 Top Tips On How To Photograph Daffodils: Daffodils


8. Small Apertures 

Focus can be a little tricky so use the smallest aperture you can to stop blur creeping into your image.


9. Arty Blur 

Alternatively, use a wider aperture so the back petals fall gradually out of focus, focusing on the tip of the petal nearest to your lens. 


10. Giant Softbox

Don't see cloud cover as a bad thing as a light covering of cloud will act as a giant softbox. 


17 Top Tips On How To Photograph Daffodils: Daffodils and a church



11. Wind Is Not Your Friend

As well as creating backgrounds, a card can be used to shield your subject from the wind. If you have one, you can use a plamp to steady a flower. 


12. Water Droplets 

Spray the petals with water so that droplets appear making the petals look fresh and glowing. It'll also add another level of interest to your shot. 


13. Use A Reflector

Take a reflector out with you, particularly on dull days, so you can bounce extra light into your shot without having to use your flash. You can make your own reflector from silver foil if you don't own one.


14. Cuttings Inside

Take a cutting and place it on a different background for a more graphic result. 


17 Top Tips On How To Photograph Daffodils: Daffodil


15. Shoot From Under The Flower Head

Capture your shots from under the flower head, turning it into a strong silhouetted shape against a bright sky.  If you don't want it to appear as a silhouette use exposure compensation and expose one stopover what your camera considers to be correct to give your shots a creative twist without removing detail. 


16. Backlit Fun With Old Flowers

Don't throw out old flowers once they wilt. Wait until the head has gone crisp and photograph that against the sun to create backlit effects.


17. Creative Effects 

Play around with your shots to achieve various creative effects. This can be done in-camera via Art Filters or during post-production. 


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