One of the first images people try to capture with a new macro lens is a beautiful flower. Macro flower photography is perhaps top of the list of priorities for a beginner macro photographer. It’s a great subject to get started with, but it can be difficult to master.
There’s a slew of potential roadblocks when it comes to capturing decent macro photos with your camera. Getting the composition right with flowers can be tricky, and if you don’t know how to get the most out of your lighting conditions, your lens could let you down.
A macro lens is only as good as the photographer using it. If you want to capture beautiful macro photos of flowers every time you shoot, read this post for our top tips. We’ve outlined what we think is a great beginner’s guide to photographing flowers. We’ll tell you everything you need to know to get the perfect photograph.
Macro Flower Photography Tips
There’s a whole world to explore when it comes to a flower macro. The textures, colors, tones, lines, and shadows of flowers make them a fantastic subject at any experience level. There’s plenty of satisfying challenges involved with flower photography for even experienced photographers. Newbies will learn a lot along the way.
If you’d like to improve your skills in portrait photography, trying your hand at macro flower photography will dramatically elevate your skillset. It can also help you add some wonderful details if your photography work involves wedding photography. Imagine the bouquet shots!
Capturing flowers in detail requires the right gear. While a bad worker blames their tools, it also doesn’t hurt to get the right equipment for the job! If you want great shots for Instagram or your website, you’ll need to shoot with the right kit.
Most digital cameras have a built-in “macro” setting. While this can work fairly well for a basic photograph, your images will really improve with a dedicated setup. It’s also worth learning how to get the most out of the equipment you already have. If you can master the manual mode of your camera, you’ll be a much better photographer for it.
So what kit should you use for the perfect image? The next part of this flower photography guide will outline the things to take with you. Feel free to pick and choose from this list as you see fit. Make the most of what you have before buying something new:
- Tripod: Macro photography involves getting much closer to your subject than usual. This means it’s far easier for things to wobble and ruin your images. A tripod will give you much more control.
- Macro Lens: Not to state the obvious, but macro photography is much harder without the right lens for the job. That isn’t to say it’s impossible, but shooting a close-up image is so much easier when you have a macro lens. They come with the depth of field you need. Macro lenses come in all shapes and sizes and there’s a diversity of options for both focal length and width. As a general rule, 100mm is a great focal length to use. Bear in mind that the narrower your angle, the further away you’ll have to be from your flower.
- IR Shutter Release: A small handheld remote can help you maximize the stability of your setup. They’re inexpensive, but can free you up and let you focus on other things.
- Natural light reflectors: Depending on your lighting conditions, these can really help boost the photos you take of flowers. Small sheets of white paper can do the trick. If you position them correctly, you’ll be able to reflect the available light to where you need it, and get the most out of your natural light.
- Other lighting components: A ring light accessory for your cameras can really elevate the photos you take of flowers. A flash accessory can also improve your lighting situation. Use them when natural light isn’t quite enough.
Getting the focus right is always important, but when it comes to macro photography – it’s everything. Choose the exact point on your flower you’d like to shoot. Manual focus will give you the best level of control over your photography. Continue to make adjustments until you’re happy with each image.
There’s a lot of detail to capture, so you want to make sure you have things just right.
Depth of Field
One of the best ways to achieve an interesting macro image is to make sure you’re using the right depth of field. The next time a photography post on Instagram catches your eye, think about the depth of field they may have used. It’s all about tweaking the distance between the closest and the farthest objects in focus.
Practicing your macro photography skills on a beautiful flower will help you learn a lot about this aspect of photography. Keep experimenting until you know you’ve got the right photo.
As macro photography operates at such short distances, even the tiniest movement can have the biggest impact. Flowers are constantly getting blown around and jostled. You should be using a speed setting on your shutter that allows you to produce excellent flower macro photography.
Composing Macro Flower Photos
Macro flower photography can be absolutely stunning. Photographing a flower with the right macro lenses can uncover a hidden world of beauty and intrigue. There’s plenty to consider when it comes to the composition of your macro photography. This section of our macro guide will outline some key details to think about.
Ask yourself if framing the flower directly in the centre of your macro photo would achieve the best results. Flowers are full of interesting lines that span out symmetrically from each other. Great macro flower photography captures this symmetry. Use your own judgement to decide what you need to draw focus to and what should stay in the background.
If you want to improve traction on your Instagram or website, you should be considering symmetry from day one.
Another detail to consider when photographing flowers is the number of repeating patterns you can spot. It might be worth thinking about how to frame these elements. Would a wide shot work? We’re working in macro, not landscape photography, but you want to capture a photo that showcases all the details.
In some cases, the details will be best highlighted with a closer shot. It’s your call when shooting.
Macro flower photography is about finding a flower that will stand out. Can you find aspects of your subject that might catch the eye? It’s important to note, that “perfection” is not always the most useful inspiration. Try to look for elements that will bring an edge to your macro photography.
Has part of the flower been damaged in a way that draws focus? Does the light catch on an abnormality of the plant? Is it drying up and curling in its petals?
Use your camera and macro lens to capture the unexpected! Feel free to get creative. Thousands of macro photography shots of flowers get posted to Instagram every day.
A lot of them go unnoticed. If you’re creative, you’ll capture something nobody’s seen before!
5 Examples of Macro Flower Photos
Macro photography is a rich and rewarding hobby, but if you’ve been using a macro setup for a while, you’ll know that it can be easy to lose inspiration. We’ve found some stunning examples of excellent macro work with flowers to bring some welcome inspiration to your shoot. You’ll be setting up your tripod in no time!
Credit: Rich_f28 | Flickr
Credit: Jeff Turner | Flickr
We hope our tips in this photography guide for macro flower photos have been helpful. Our goal with with this site is to help even the least experienced photographers get the most out of their camera, lenses and other gear. Macro photography can be seriously addictive once you get started!
The first time you create the perfect shot with your gear is unforgettable.
There’s so much opportunity to be creative in this genre of camera work. If you’re new to photography, it can teach you so much about the fundamentals. It’s important to remember the pointers we’ve outlined on this page to take full advantage of your camera.
Use the right gear for the job to achieve excellent results with your available light, lenses, cameras, and subject. With a little patience and a few free tutorials, you might surprise yourself with how creative you can be. Take a look at the rest of our website to level up your photography skills.