For bright flowers, (which is most flowers) you want to purposely under-expose your camera, so that the camera sees a lot more detail in the flower, rather than seeing blown-out highlights on the majority of the flower.
With darker flowers, you want to over-expose your camera, so that you lighten it enough in the photo to see all the detail the camera wouldn't normally see.
One thing you need to understand with photography is that the camera doesn't see things like our eye. Our eye exposes everything for us, but a camera has a fit exposure, no matter how dark or light an area is, which is why we have to tell it to see things brighter or darker with its exposure settings.
The fact that flowers are so small means that they're harder to focus on, a lot like how our eyes work. To get super sharp flower photos, always use a tri-pod -- tri-pods are great for getting sharp images in any scenario.
Also, ensure you get as close as possible to the flower, zooming right in, so that the flower almost fills the whole frame of the photo. As well as this, use manual focus, rather than auto. This is because cameras find it hard to focus on small things, so to ensure your camera is focusing in the exact spot you want, use manual focus and take your time getting the focus spot on.
Something I do quite often is pick a nice flower that I see when I'm out and about and take it home to take photos. I highly recommend this if it's really sunny outside, as harsh light isn't very flattering for flowers.
When you place a flower on a desk by a window, you get this lovely soft light coming through, which creates more flattering light and softer shadows. Another advantage of taking flower photos inside is that you can position them however you want. But beware of how much time you spend taking photos, as flowers can die quickly, which doesn't look so flattering.
With any type of photography, the way you place a flower in your frame is very important, as well as the angle you use. A rule I've always stuck by is never to look down at flowers, but rather to take photos looking across at their level. You can need to get down on your knee for this, but it's definitely worth it, since it's a rarer, more interesting view.
However, that being said, I also ignore this rule sometimes -- usually when the top of the flower has layers or something very interesting about it. The photos below are of the same flower, because the sidewards and bird-eye view both looked good, I took both -- no harm in trying.
As I've already mentioned, a good idea is to almost fill the whole frame with the flower you're photographing, so that you get a sharp, detailed photo. Though, if you have a nice blur of flowers in the background, you may also want to zoom out a bit, so that you can show that background a bit more. More of the depth-of-field stuff will be covered in part 2.
So there you have it. They're the essential elements and rules to consider and use when you're out in the field (see what I did there?). Keep visiting this site to catch part two as soon as it comes out. Also, if you have any questions or tricks you want to share, simply comment below.
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