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Flower Power – 5 Tips to Macro Flower Photography

Author: Libby

It’s the official first day of spring! Whether you are a nature enthusiast  of just love flower photography this post is for you! However, before you snap the shutter there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to floral photography. We caught up with  Kathleen Clemons for her 5 tips on macro flower photography.

1. Use Soft Lighting

Direct sunlight is the worst light you can use for flower photography. The harsh lighting creates washed out colors and strong shadows which chop up the petal lines of your flowers. Overcast days are best since soft, even lighting is best for flowers. Soft lighting will preserve the natural color and texture of the petals so that the true beauty of the flower is captured.

2 Soft lighting Libby

1 Soft lighting Libby

2Pay Attention To The Background

Pay close attention to your background. Choose a background that adds to the image, avoid anything that distracts or pulls attention away from your subject(s). Remember, if it doesnʼt add to the image, it needs to go! Sometimes, I  choose the background first if that is what catches my eye, then I choose a subject that contrasts or compliments it.
3 Backgrounds Libby

3.Get Closer

Get up and personal! Fill the frame with your subject,this eliminates anything in the background that could detract from your flowers. First, start shooting wide and move in closer and closer. You’ll be amazed at what you will see. Shoot variations of your subjects, gradually moving in closer and closer, with more and more of the flower filling the frame.

5 Closer Libby
6 Closer Libby
4. Simplify Your Composition

Learn to see the distractions that pull your eye away from your subject, and eliminate or minimize them. Change your angle of view, move in closer, or use a larger aperture to blur elements that distract. Most of my flower photos are shot with large apertures to reduce depth of field and simplify the subject.  Using a selective focus lens like a Lensbaby is a great way to draw attention to one area of your composition.
7 Simplify Libby
8 Simplify Libby

5.Work it!

As with all photography, beautiful and successful flower images begin with learning to see.  Really look at your subject, from all possible angles. Lay down on your stomach and look up to see the underside of the flower. Sometimes this is the most beautiful part of a flower, and often overlooked.Really study your subject and shoot it from different angles, choose the best point of view.  When you think you are finished with a subject, ask yourself, “Did I work it?” If not, you aren’t finished!
9 Work it Libby
10 Work it Libby
Thank you Kathleen for sharing your advice with us. By the way, Kathleen uses Printique Photo Books and Fine Art Papers to display her artwork. Take a peek at her beautiful artwork rolling off the Fine Art  Printer!

You can catch Kathleen’s photography tutorials on CreativeLive or find more of her work here:

Twitter: @kathleenclemons
Photography Classes: