We usually take flowers as static subjects since they cannot run or move whenever we approach, they just stay where they are for all day and night, they don’t attempt to bite you even if you get real close, oh we are not talking about corpse flower, are we? However flowers do move and bring photographers challenges from random motion. Bees, butterflies, insects, wind or gentle breezes, they are able to make the flowers move, as a result, motion in the flowers is enough to create blurry images. Even a drop of water can cause a rebounding effect. Just as most problems, there are fortunately ways to fix them.
Holding the camera still seems never out of date. There are specially made clamp arms for flower photography, which of course will not make damage to the flowers themselves. The clamps can be attached to a tripod and then adjusted to hold the flower where the photographer need them to be for the framing. If you don’t get a pair, trying to hold them using your hand will also be a good idea but you have to avoid shaky fingers.
Choosing a right time like morning when the air is usually at its most still, frost is often still on the petals and insects move slowly too. Not to mention the great light quality found in the morning, above all these make this section a perfect flower shooting moment.
Remember what we talked about in <Is Your Photo Blurry>? Yeah, a classic way of stopping image from getting blurry is to use a high shutter speed. A high enough speed can freeze any motion, even it’s a flying bullet, not to mention just a little waving of the flower. Using a high shutter speed can minimize the chances of an image turning out blurry for the unexpected motion of a flower.
There are hundreds of thousands of flowers of various colors in the world. When you shoot them, the film does exist a phenomenon of recognition of color offset. Because we can divide the colors into warm colors and cold colors as well as middle ones. Upon the same lighting and camera setting condition you will sometimes find the difference between you shoot the flower of warm colors and the ones of cold colors. When you take a picture for a yellow flower, the rest part of the image may get darker while you take a picture for a purple flower, the rest of the framing may become lighter than in normal environment. At the same time the rest part of the image may come with a hue offset. When you come across this kind of problems there are ways to fix them, always another way. We can do the photoshop job or adjust the settings on the camera, we can set a reflector around the subject or a piece of cloth as a shelter to reduce the light which goes onto the flower too.
And the lighting is another big challenge for the flower photographer because of surface angles vary. Most of the flowers in the world have petals and many of them go with green leaves lying around, so the light may reflect among petals, stems and leaves and each of the elements can perform as a small reflector. This often results in a few of the petals look very dark and a few being so bright. If the light differences are just too great you can add more light to even out the exposure, then you can work this out with flash or reflectors. Another way to solve the lighting difference problem is to come at a different time of day when the sun stays at a different angle from the flower. Morning, midday, and afternoon or at night (we can talk about night flower photography later) all have different properties of color as well as light intensity and angle so it is worth visiting your chosen flower subject throughout the day to select the perfect lighting.
Lighting differences upon the flower are not definitely a bad thing, what you need to do is to take you time to study the flower and see if there is an angle you can take the picture from that uses the lighting condition as a plus for your image. All of these issues are often very striking. But if you take your time and heart, there are always ways to make a change.
At last, we would like to share you with a tip with which we can make the image a little better. If the flower is dry, you can drop a bit of water onto the petals, which will bring you unexpected great lighting, just like diamonds in the forest starring.