Flower and nature photography: tips on making your images pop

Flower and nature photography: tips on making your photography pop


Flower and nature photography: tips on making your images pop

With spring already here, it’s fun being outdoors and start discovering nature and taking beautiful pictures. As spring flowers start to come out everywhere, it’s easy to take some nice pictures of flowers and gardens, but how do you make your flower photography look amazing?

Here are 10 tips to help you make the most of your flower and nature photography and create some fantastic images

Get really close

Get those close up details of a grouping of flowers or even single flower blooms. Using a dedicated macro lens allows for focusing on objects with all the fine details. Another alternative  would be to use a telephoto lens with zoom to focus on your subject in a focal range you are happy with.


Cropping out distracting elements

Clear up your background and cluttered distractions by changing positions of where you are taking the photograph. Try to crop out distracting or glaring details in the background and make those compositions tighter. Re-compose your images constantly to find the best compositions, take out unnecessary details and train your eye better to create more interesting viewpoints. Last, don’t be afraid of zooming tighter to get a close-up of your subject, your audience will spend more time looking at all the details in your photograph.



Use a shallow depth of field

Along with cropping out distractions and doing close-up images,  changing your f-stop on digital SLR cameras to a shallow depth of field (usually around f2/8 – f/4, anything in a low aperture range) will make the backgrounds blend in and become softer. This in turn creates a pleasing background, and makes the subject pop out from the composition.

Focus on sharpness

If your main focus is on the flower, concentrate on highlighting the key details with your autofocus, and make sure they are spot on sharp. Target your autofocus directly on the main subject and then recompose the image to create a more pleasing composition. Larger groupings will require a bigger aperture like a f/9 to f/11 setting to get all the various details into focus so change your apertures accordingly. For selective focus, try switching to manual mode so you can manually focus sharpness to the appropriate areas of the subject  that you want to highlight.

Photograph on cloudy overcast days

Cloudy days are perfect for nature and flower photography because it creates an even filtered light on your subject so this is a great time to work on flowers, nature and isolated outdoor images that you want to capture.  Even light compliments the flower details and its delicate features, eliminating harsh shadows or bright hot spots on your subject.



Try for backlighting your images

Backlight happens when the sun is directly in front of you and lights up the subject from behind. Flowers that are delicate and translucent, create a wonderful glow effect that brightens up the subject and creates a dynamic and glowing composition. Just make sure when you try this technique that you avoid any glare or flare-ups occurring to your camera lens and distracts from the overall image.

Try photographing during the ‘Golden Hour’

The early morning or even hours when the sun is close to the horizon presents the best warm light on any subject including plants and flowers. Try shooting during this timeframe when the golden light is happening, it is the best time to be outdoors and find some interesting subjects to photograph. Take the time to study how the light hits your subject, experiment, find the best angles to shoot and your photos will look incredible.

Avoid windy days

Windy days are very difficult to capture detail or macro images of flowers and its best to avoid taking pictures in this condition unless you are going for a different effect on your photography. The best situation is to take pictures of your subject in a  protected area away from the wind or try a different timeframes (like mornings)  when the wind factor is minimized. Last, take photos of your subject indoors if you can bring your arrangements or any subject indoors.



Create a different viewpoint

Trying different angles and perspective will create more interesting and dynamic imagery to  your subject.  Photographing flowers from above, the bottom, behind, backlit or any other interesting angles will create a different take from the typical formats and will create better presentations. This is a great way to experiment and train your eye to see things differently and create unusual or interesting viewpoints with your photography.

Light it up

Any flowers that are in shade or in boring flat light can be lit up using reflectors or flash to add highlights and depth to the subject. Try to find the right balance of shade and light to best focus on your subject matter whether it is lit naturally or with other tools to highlight your subject.

This is a great time to be outdoors and enjoy nature, wildflowers or the beauty of a garden. Go outside, find something inspiring and enjoy experimenting with your camera. Try out any combinations of the techniques and tips mentioned above and your presentation and photography skills will improve.  Last, take a look at this earlier post I wrote earlier focusing on general tips on travel photography, using your camera and composition.

If you liked this post on Flower and nature photography: tips on making your images pop, please feel free to share it with any of the social media buttons around the post, thank you.

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19 Responses to Flower and nature photography: tips on making your images pop

  1. natan dotan January 31, 2015 at 4:40 am #

    thx for the great tips, i usualy use soem water drops when i photograph flowers, it adds shine and make them look fresher…

  2. Elena April 6, 2014 at 2:59 am #

    Great tips as always. I love playing with the depth of field- but need to experiment with lighting and other perspectives.

  3. JR Riel September 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your professional tips and your photos that prove you really know what you’re talking about. Beautiful shots! I find that flowers and plants can be some of the hardest subjects to shoot sometimes.

  4. Meagan @ Life Outside of Texas September 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Really nice tips. Thanks for the share! My favorite subject is people, but flowers are a close second.

  5. harshabhuyan August 29, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Amazing Tipe Noel..Thanks for sharing,being a newbie in Photography this is going to help me a lot.. 🙂

  6. cal young June 19, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Beautiful Photos. Thanks for your generosity. I would like to know how you put your name on the photos themselves to ensure copyright.

    • Noel June 19, 2013 at 6:51 am #

      Its the software I use called Lightroom, its my watermark

  7. Charli & Ben (@wanderlustersuk) June 8, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    Great tips Noel. Such colourful blooms.

  8. Tonya Prater (@travelermom) May 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Great tips! Flowers are one of my favorite subjects.

  9. Jessica May 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Wonderful tips! I love to photograph flowers, but my photos never turn out quite as good as yours.

  10. calculatedtraveller May 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Sometimes I sprinkle a little bit of water on flowers etc…just to give that little “dew” effect. Great tips!

    • emorata1 May 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      Yes adding some water element works well into a floral composition, great additional tip.


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