Your brief here is to create a set of stunning flower photographs. Flowers are popular subjects, but are mostly shot in frame-filling close-up. Don’t overlook their potential to provide colorful foreground interest in broad vistas. During spring and summer, flowers can be found growing in huge numbers at coastal cliff-tops, in woodlands, or as cultivated crops. They add color impact and create depth, texture, and context.
Flowers are ephemeral things, so timing is important-do your research first and visit when the display is close to its best, and before crops are harvested. The optimum time can vary from year to year, so monitor progress by making repeat visits .
Flowers can enhance your landscapes in various ways. They can act as an entry point to the scene beyond, or provide the main focus for your shot. Camera height, orientation, and perspective are all important. Low viewpoints tend to work well, placing emphasis on colorful foreground blooms. By using an ultra-wideangle or even a fisheye lens you will be able to distort perspective and make foreground blooms appear more prominent. To emphasize the color and density of a carpet of flowers, try shooting from slightly further away with a short or medium telephoto lens instead-this will foreshorten perspective and exaggerate the intensity of the color.
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- To enhance the colors of flowers, attach a polarizing filter and shoot after rainfall, when blooms and foliage are at their vivid best.
- To generate a large enough depth of field to keep both your foreground flowers and the background sharp, select a small aperture in the region of f/11 or f/16.
- If a small aperture doesn’t provide sufficient depth of field, consider focus-stacking (see L12, Change the View).
- Polarizing filter
- Wind speed is an important consideration.
- To avoid delicate flowers being blown and blurred in your photographs, take photos when the wind speed is below 15mph (24kph), and if necessary, increase ISO to generate a shutter speed fast enough to record them sharply. Sometimes, though, a little subject motion can be attractive.