I’m not an expert by any means but I do love taking photos of flowers. I don’t use a fancy camera I just use my smartphone (Samsung S7 I think it is). I then use these pics as inspiration for my mixed media art which you can see over on Instagram. But do you ever have that feeling of frustration when you try to capture the beauty in nature but when you look back at your photos you feel disappointed? Here are my 5 top tips to avoid that happening and help you take cracking shots every time.
1: Subject matter – don’t always go for the obvious.
Those colourful blooms may be the most fragrant and eye-catching in the garden but if you look a bit closer you might find other things that are even more exciting to capture. Seed heads, textures and patterns that you find when you zoom in and search around can provide really great images.
2: Composition – rule of thirds
So once you’ve chosen what you want to capture you might want to think about how you place it within the frame of your viewfinder / screen. The rule of thirds is not a scary complex photographic term it’s just something to bear in mind when you’re setting up your shot. You can find loads more info if you just do a google search but basically it means splitting your image into 9 equal parts with 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines. The idea is that the eye is more naturally drawn to the areas where the lines intersect so this is where you want to place your main point of interest. It’s a rule that photographers use but remember that rules are also meant to be broken so don’t feel like you always have to stick to it!
3: Lighting – shoot against it
If you’re out and about taking photos it’s usually much better to wait for that cloud to pass so that you can get the best sunlight for your image. I also love to take photos against the sun which gives a much more simplistic, silhouette image. It’s worth playing around with this and see what you can capture.
It’s also worth playing around with focus on different objects within your image. You can do this manually if you’re using a DSLR but you can also do this on your phone by tapping different areas on your screen (that’s how it works on my Samsung anyway) have a play around to see what your device can do. I also love to use the ‘Focus’ filter in stories on Instagram, this basically blurs out the background and can be really effective.
5: Angle – look up and look down
So you’ve found your flower, you’ve composed your image you’ve got the focus and lighting sorted but your photo still looks boring!? Try playing around with your angles. Our cameras are so portable these days that it’s really easy to get down amongst the undergrowth and point upwards or alternatively get a different perspective and look down on your subject. Looking up is one of my favourite viewpoints, you really get that feeling of growth and it’s always good to look at things from another viewpoint right?
Bonus tip – last but not least if you’re in a hurry and you see something you love but don’t have enough time to take your time to compose the perfect shot then just shoot lots of images anyway. The beauty of digital is that when you do have a bit more time you can always go back and edit. One of my favourite things to do is crop a close up section from an image to focus in on the details that you probably didn’t see at first but are really the stars of the show.
So I hope that helps you! – I’d love to know what you think. Do you have any other top tips? Comments always welcome below and of course I’d love to see your work over on Instagram so please do tag me @rebeccachapmanart