Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tulip Aglow

Tulip Aglow
(Who says you can't photograph pretty pictures on a sunny day!)

For those of you who like to photograph flowers outdoors, and are shooting on a sunny day, here's an idea:  Look for a flower that is lit fairly evenly by the overhead sun and is in front of a larger, solid object, such as a building.  The direction and perspective you shoot from is critical.  First, find a position where you can shoot 'through' a petal creating a translucent look, (usually your camera has to be pointing in a semi upward direction).  Second, make sure your background object is solid, in deep shadow, and frames the entire flower.  This will create a dramatic, high contrast, image that will really show off your 'glowing' flower.  

You can artificially create this same effect by placing a large, flat, solid object, (scrim), behind your subject flower, being careful to not block the sun from hitting the flower.  You will have to experiment with your camera settings so as not to 'blow out' the flower if the sunlight is very bright or harsh.  It may also help to have a polarizing filter on your camera lens.  You should do your best to avoid a point of view where harsh, distracting shadows on the flower, created by less important petals and leaves, detract from the main part of the flower.  

And finally, you may want to emphasize this high contrast style of flower photography in post processing.  In Lightroom this is usually pretty simple, especially if you are shooting in RAW.   Decreasing the 'shadows' slider, and maybe the 'black' slider, will darken and decrease any distracting details in the background, you might have if you are shooting in front of a building.   You can also adjust the intensity of the glow by adjusting the 'highlights' slider. 

Hope you all enjoy photographing spring flowers as much as I do!!