Basic Tips on Photographing Flowers

I visited Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, GA, which is a little over an hour northeast of Atlanta, during their Daffodil Festival.  They estimate approximately 16-20 million daffodils displayed over 50 acres.  If you enjoy seeing nature come to life and the transition of winter into spring, this is a great place to visit.  I have to imagine if you visited the gardens once a month, each visit would be a completely different experience.  I can’t wait to go back when the rest of the gardens begin to bloom.

Below are a few images and basic tips to help you think a little differently the next time you are taking a photo of a flower.  Enjoy and happy spring!

“Hills in Bloom”  (f/5.6, 1/3200 second, ISO 125)


“In all Her Glory”  (f/8, 1/125 second, ISO 100)

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when trying to get the effect as seen above, a single flower in sharp focus and the background blurred.

  • First, try to find a subject that has some distance from it’s background.  In nature, your subject may not always cooperate so it is important to also understand the next two points.
  • The next step is to choose a larger aperture.  For this photo, I used aperture priority mode on my camera and set it to a larger aperture (smaller f/stop number).
  • Another technique you can try is to use a lens with a longer focal length (a 200mm lens versus a 35mm lens).  With this technique, you will need more distance between your camera/lens and the subject to get the same angle or perspective you are hoping for.


“White on Blue”  (f/5, 1/2000 second, ISO 125)

Another very important tip to remember is to always think about different camera angles.  Instead of taking pictures always in the same position, standing up with camera at eye level like you see a majority of people doing, change your position.  For the photo above and below, I was laying on my belly, as close to ground as I could to get the proper angle.  I’m sure a few people probably gave me funny looks but I was able to achieve the angle I wanted with the blue sky in the background.


“Reaching for the Sun”  (f/8, 1/160 seconds, ISO 100)


“Brilliant Yellow”  (f/5.6, 1/800 seconds, ISO 125)

A last quick idea on how to create the image you see above.  ALWAYS pay attention to your lighting.  Lighting in a photography is everything!  The daffodil above is illuminated by the sunlight because I was able to get to an angle in which the sun was behind the flower lighting it up from the backside.


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