Tips for Photographing Flowers

I photographed this tulip in my yard using a Nikon Z7 and 105mm f/2.8 AFS G VR micro-Nikkor lens.

Spring into flower photography this month!

Spring is here (finally) and flowers are popping up everywhere! This is the perfect time to capture the delicate details and colors of flowers. Whether you shoot wildflowers outdoors, or even just floral arrangements on your kitchen table, here are some ideas to help you get better shots.

Tips for better flower photos

  • Get low. Eye-level shots will allow for smooth, out of focus backgrounds instead of cluttered shots of the ground. If your tripod has a removable or short center column, you’ll be able to position your camera close to the ground.
  • Use live-view to compose your shots. If your camera has a flip-out rear LCD, you’ll have a much easier time composing low-angle photos using it instead of your viewfinder.
  • Not every shot needs to be at f/22. While stopping down gives you greater depth of field with extreme close-ups, the background can often become distracting as you stop down your lens. Experiment with a variety of apertures to find the best compromise between subject sharpness and background softness (the shot above was captured at f/5.6).
  • Use a diffuser disc on sunny days. Bright sunlight makes for harsh shadows and extreme contrast. Flowers work best in soft light on cloudy or overcast days. If it’s sunny, I carry a 5 in 1 diffuser disc to soften the light on my subject.
Use a diffuser (right) to soften harsh shadows on sunny days.

Accessories for close-up shooting

2 thoughts on “Tips for Photographing Flowers”

  1. Personally I like a shorter macro lens (60mm) so that more of the main subject is in focus. To me having the head of an insect or pedal of a flower in focus the the rest out of focus in not appealing at all.. I used the 105 and 135mm lens which magnifies this condition which is why I switched to the 60mm lens. Changing f-stops helps a bit but not enough in my opinion.

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