Get out into the garden!

Now that spring is well and truly here it’s time to get out into the garden and photograph the flowers in all their stages of blooming.  So how do you that, and what’s the best lighting for flower photography?  As with many things in photography the answer is, “It depends”…

"Shady  tulip" by Derek Gale

“Shady tulip” by Derek Gale

This fabulous tulip was in a shady corner of the garden (and also out of the wind).  The low contrast meant that the colours were very subtly rendered.  The neutral graded background, and wide aperture on my 60 mm macro lens,  allows the flower to stand out in all its glory.

"Backlit tulip" by Derek Gale

“Backlit tulip” by Derek Gale

This tulip was in the sun, and a front on image with the very sharp light was too contrasty.  I choose to go in really close and get the light shining through the petals from behind.  Once again the wide lens aperture has controlled the background, and there’s a lovely change of colour from bottom to top of the flower.

"Colour contrast macro" by Derek Gale

“Colour contrast macro” by Derek Gale

This isn’t a whole flower.  It’s a couple of petals that had fallen off a tulip that was over.  I held them up to the sky and got the sun shining through with a plain blue background.  I’ve boosted the saturation so the colour contrast is very strong, but there’s still some lovely colour changes across the petal.

"Thisis an ex-daffodil" by Derek Gale

“This is an ex-daffodil” by Derek Gale

It’s still worth photographing flowers when they are over.  I popped this “past it” daffodil into a vase and placed inside the house and near a north facing window.  The B&W conversion took away any last vestiges of colour from the flower.  To me it looks like a very flouncy handkerchief, or the elaborate sleeve of a 17th century “fop”.

Get out there and experiment!

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