Many florists find flower photography a challenge so here are some quick pointers that will get you going in the right direction.
Conventional wisdom has it taking good pictures is all about how good the camera is. Camera companies would also like you to believe this. Actually pictures are all about light. The camera just records the light.
Flower Photography and Light
Because of the limitations of all cameras, if we have too much contrast between the dark areas and light areas of the subject, we lose detail in both. The flash on the front of the camera will produce the worst result!
To prevent this we need to reduce depth of shadows using soft or diffused lighting. This is achieved using diffusing screens in front of the light source (such as a soft cube or using a light source with the diffuser built in, the easiest and most versatile method).
The second issue about light is about the colour of the light. Different sources of light may look white but the actual light spectrum that the camera sees is very different from what your eye sees. This is why we use a colour balanced light source (a special bulb designed for photography) in our lights.
To keep your images sharp, use a tripod for the camera
You will need some different back drops to add variety to your pictures. Nothing looks worse than a whole website with flowers on white backgrounds, try white, bark blue, grey.
Try a table set up against a wall. Drape the back drop off the wall in a curve down onto the table. And set the lights up either side of the table.
Experiment with lights at different angles and distances from the flowers.
Most modern cameras have the capacity to take excellent photo’s. megapixel count is not relevant or how big the zoom is.
Because you are composing the picture in the viewfinder, how easy this is, is important.
Also important is quality of lens on the camera. I would suggest you stay with either Nikon or Canon.
You can use a good compact but a DSLR (digital single lense reflex) does a much better job. This is a camera where, when you look at the viewfinder or screen, you are looking through the lense and therefore seeing the actual picture you are taking. These cameras have much more flexible settings that you will appreciate as you get better. The best of breed as a starting DSLR camera at this time is the Nikon D3100 which can be purchased for around $600 online. If this is out of reach financially then another good option is the Nikon Coolpix L120 at around $300.
So, equipped with your lighting and camera for less than$1000 you are ready to produce those great shots which will bring your web site or facebook page to life with your own unique combination of floristry and photo skills – and your site will no longer look like a clone of a relay service!
More Flower Photography Rescources
Written by Steve White, CEO, Tesselaar Flowers
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