How To Photograph Flowers

Another problem with photographing wild flowers is that they often grow in shady locations, or in the case of my foxgloves here they have grown facing away from the prevailing sunlight. While this may provide a temptingly cool haven for foraging bees it’s no help if you want to get a clear well-lit shot of the wonders of nature.

In this case the best solution is to use fill-in flash. Almost all digital cameras have a built-in flash, and in most cases it will have a number of optional modes, one of which will be automatic fill-in flash. Some cameras, usually high-end compacts, also have the option to vary the power output of the flash, sometimes called ‘flash compensation’. Since you will normally be shooting flowers at close range, it is a good idea to turn the power of the flash down to its minimum setting, giving just enough light to fill in the shadows but not enough to drown out the natural colours. Flowers are highly reflective and an over-powered flash will cause burned-out highlights if you’re not careful.

To be perfectly honest the flash in this shot is possibly a little too strong, but it’s not too bad. It’s my own fault for rushing the shot, but I wanted to get it before the bee flew away.

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