Spring is now in full swing and as such there are lots of flowers appearing for you to photograph. The snowdrops may have been out for a while now but more recently we have seen the arrival of daffodils and crocuses that will make very photogenic subjects. Here, we run down some top tips for photographing spring flowers:
Use a macro lens - As you'll want to photograph up close some quite small flowers, a macro lens is recommended to give you the depth of field necessary to isolate the flower from the background. If you don't have a dedicated macro lens, the Tamron AF 55-200mm is great value at under £100.
Use a tripod - A support will be essential when working down on the ground with flowers. Even the slightest movement could blur your image, so it's a good idea to set up on a tripod, giving you the freedom to move around and tweak the look of the area around your subject to give a more photogenic surrounding once you know what will be in the frame.
Get down low - As the heads of snowdrops and daffodils tend to face slightly downwards, you won't get the best image from looking down on them from a height. This might work for clusters of flowers where the colour is more important than the shape, but for individual or small groups of flowers you need to get down to the level of the flower. This will enable you to get up close to the flower, and using a tripod with splaying legs will mean that you don't have to kneel on damp ground whilst framing your image.
Use a shallow depth of field - Using a depth of field that is small (low f number) will enable you to isolate the flower from the background and make the surroundings nicely blurred. Experiment until you can get the whole flower head in focus, as this will be your main point of interest. If there is dew on the flowers and sunshine, you might get some nice bokeh effects from the surrounding flowers and plants.
Make sure your background is plain/ fits with the scene - To draw maximum attention to your flower, you need to try and ensure that the background is plain enough that it doesn't distract the viewer. Even if you've blurred the background, bright colours can still be an issue so consider changing your angle of view, or if that won't work, try isolating the flower with some plain black or white card.
Focus on the head of the plant - The head of the flower with its beautiful petals will be the main subject area for most. Leaves and surrounding shoots can add interest, but make sure you compose the image with the flower head in the most pleasing position with the other aspects fitting in around it.
Go abstract - Use the close focusing capabilities of your macro lens to focus on one petal of the flower, or the tubular part of a daffodil, for example, to create a more abstract view on spring flowers. You can use an even shallower depth of field to isolate stamen and the other intricate details that flowers hold.