8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring

5 November 2021

Spring is here, making it hard for photographers to go for their morning walk without pausing to take happy snaps of bright and blossoming garden beds. If you are getting frustrated that the shots that are filling the camera roll of your phone don’t quite match the reality before you, take a read through these tips on how to capture the best flower photos this spring.

#1 Choose the best camera for spring photography

While you don’t need to purchase a new camera with every new season, the intricacies of spring lighting and bright and vibrant natural colours of flower beds are best captured using a camera with a larger image sensor than that of your smartphone or compact digital camera. If you’re not yet the proud owner of a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, now may be the perfect time for an upgrade.

Interchangeable lens cameras, like DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras, are also the best cameras for Bokeh - that’s the fancy word photographers use to refer to blurred backgrounds. Bokeh can look particularly good in spring photos, making your subject stand out against a nice blurred background, whether it’s a portrait or a flower photo. Bokeh is particularly apparent when using certain camera lenses, such as macro lenses.

8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring

#2 Go for a macro lens

8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring

A macro lens is a lens that is better suited for focusing on subjects that are closer to the lens, which allows you to fill your frame with your subject. This is suitable for a range of subjects including bugs and insects, and of course, close-up flower photography.

With a macro lens you can get close and focus on the most minute details of leaves and flower petals. As macro lenses generally feature a fast maximum aperture, you can shoot wide open to produce very shallow depths of field. Not sure what depth of field is? Read all about it in Ted’s Cameras’ beginner’s guide to depth of field.

Browse some of our favourite Macro Lenses

#3 Don’t stay inside during overcast days

While it’s tempting to stay inside during overcast days and wait for the sun to come out, overcast conditions actually provide a soft and diffused light, which is great for taking photos of flowers. While sunny conditions will often render some parts of your image bright and other parts steeped in shadow, on overcast days the light is flat and even - this makes it much simpler to produce good exposures.

8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring

#4 Shoot into the sun

8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring

We usually wouldn’t recommend shooting directly into the sun, but this time it’s okay to break the rules. For floral photography, don't be afraid to shoot into the sun, with bright light coming from behind the flowers you are framing. This technique is known as backlighting. Backlit flowers glow wonderfully, producing a dreamy, otherworldly effect. The best way to actively seek this look is to plan your shoots for late afternoons on bright and clear days.

#5 Wait for the wind to stop

Flower photography is much like other forms of still-life photography: you will find yourself spending plenty of time getting your settings and compositions perfect, just to take one image. The downside of this is, as you are working outdoors in the elements, a gust of wind can come and blow your flowers out of position, thus destroying your carefully planned composition. 

There’s obviously not much you can do to stop this, other than to avoid shooting in conditions that are too windy. If there is a slight breeze, wait for it to stop blowing before you step out for your photoshoot.

8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring

#6 Head out for your shoot after a downpour

8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring

Water droplets that gather on flowers can add an enticing everyday element to your images that is interesting, both as a visual and a conceptual component. These water droplets add another level of detail to your photos and can also produce interesting colours and reflections, and they also highlight the unpredictable weather that spring often holds.

#7 Use a tripod

As we mentioned in our previous point, the best flower photographs are carefully composed, with these compositions easily shifting due to the elements. One way to make sure you have as much control over these compositions as possible is to mount your camera on a tripod.

Using a tripod makes it easier to make small and careful adjustments to the framing of your images and it can also ensure that your camera stays perfectly still during capture - this also prevents slight movements from shifting your focal point, which is an issue when using shallow depths of fields. If you’re not sure which one to get, ready our full tripod buying guide.

8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring

#8 Hone your composition skills

8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring8 Tips for Flower Photography This Spring

The subject that you're shooting is undoubtedly beautiful, but that doesn’t save you from the hard yards of fine-tuning your composition skills. These are the factors that make your images immediately impactful and take them from ok to great. Here are some of the main composition tools that you can come in handy for great flower pictures:

  • The Rule of Thirds - This involves separating your frame into three segments vertically and horizontally using two invisible lines and placing your subjects at one of the points that these lines meet.
  • Leading Lines - This technique requires you to use naturally occurring lines to direct your viewer’s eyes to a specific part of your subject. You can use flower stems and branches as leading lines effectively.
  • Negative space - This is a minimalist technique that involves allowing much of your image to be taken up by blank or negative space. Viewers will be drawn into your subject, the positive space, despite it only being a small portion of your total photograph.

Top Tip: For good spring photography, try to keep your backgrounds clear and with as few distracting elements as possible, and experiment with shooting from different angles, either up high or down low, so your photos aren’t all framed from the same, straight-on focal point.

Capture the best spring photos today

Apply these easy tips to capture the best flower and spring photos this year. Browse our blog for more photography tips and tricks, or browse our site to get all the equipment you need!

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