Images with flowers tend to become generic after a while, especially if all of them are close-ups, without other interesting elements in the composition. But if this is your area of interest, National Geographic shooter Vickie Lewis might have a trick or two up to improve your photos #fotomagic
It all starts with the set. You need a tripod to put your camera on, a clean surface near a window where you can lay your flower, a flashlight or more, a reflector and, ideally, a cable release for the camera. Once you have all these ingredients nearby, start practice.
Shoot with “a shutter speed slower than 1/15th of a second” at first, says Vickie. Ambient light is beautiful but you’ll probably get some harsh shadows that don’t click with the ethereal feel of the flowers.
You need to soften them. Lewis recommends using a reflector – that’s a white card or cloth that you can put under the flower and to the side of it. Shoot again and you’ll see how the image gets more “dreamy”. If the center of the flower is still too dark for what you need, take a flashlight. Position it at the back of the flower, so it can illuminate the subject but doesn’t cause lens flare.
Better? Probably. If you still feel the need to light the picture more, take another flashlight and put it above the camera. Tip: cover with a Kleenex to act as a diffuser.