Half-week homework: Flowers

What could be more emblematic of spring—which begins today!—than flowers in bloom? Our California customers may have an advantage thanks to the super-bloom underway, but with an attentive eye, you can gather a digital bouquet almost anywhere.

So, what makes for flower photos worth shooting? I can’t claim that there’s any absolute standard, but I guarantee you that these tips will allow you to get striking results.

Hot tips for resplendent flora

  1. Look for bright colors and strange shapes. It probably goes without saying, but people respond to the novel. Unusually-shaped blooms and intense colors really give a plant portrait pizazz.
  2. Your choice of a good background for contrast can be just as important as your choice of subject, too: eliminating distractions or adding heroic lighting can go a long way to pop your subject.
  3. Get on their level. A changed perspective can reframe the importance of even the humblest weed.
  4. Get close! Given their generally small sizes, flowers are a great subject for which to break out the macro lens. Even if you’ve passed a neighbor’s garden a thousand times, it’s unlikely you’ve noticed any of the millions of potentially delightful tiny details contained therein. A high quality macro lens combined with a very narrow depth of field can even enable you to do really cool stuff like blurring petals while retaining crisp focus on only the stamen of the same flower (see the pink & yellow example below). Speaking of which…
  5. Get rid of that background. Macro or not, a bright prime lens is your best bet for floral exploration. A really easy way to eliminate distractions in your photo (see #2) is to blur them out by narrowing your depth of field. Imagine how blah any of the photos below would look if they were sharp all the way through the background!

Show me your best shots on our Facebook page or on Instagram, tagged with #mymikescamera #halfweekhomework. Enjoy the reawakening world, everyone!

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