Summer is Here – Time for Flower Photography

I just thought I’d share a quick little lighting technique for your flower photography. Now that spring is past and summer is here, it is almost mandatory that, as photographers, we document the emergence of dormant life in the form of flower portraits. I have some lovely Amaryllis, just now blooming at my windows, and these make great subjects for close-up photography…

The soft focus, limited depth of field effect is very natural for flower close-ups.

It is very easy to get great close-up shots with limited depth of field, soft pastel colors, and gorgeous semi-abstract sensuous forms when shooting under normal lighting conditions. Sometimes though, I like to mix it up, and apply some dramatic lighting for a completely different effect. If you have a small LED flashlight, something that should be in every photographers toolkit, this dramatic lighting is super easy as well…

Lit with a small LED Flashlight.

I simply hold the flashlight in one hand close to the lens and point it in various directions into the flower while I am hand holding – here is my set-up…

Flower Photo Setup
Here my flashlight is held just below the lens shining right into the flower.

The intense LED Light allows for smaller apertures and shorter shutter speeds, and also typically results in brighter colors and dark dramatic backgrounds…

The strong LED light renders more contrast and thus more intense colors.

So… give this a try next time you want to shoot some flower close-ups. There are a lot of possible variations using simple light modifiers, diffusing the flashlight, aiming it in different places, etc… Have fun with this and if you come up with something really great, post it online & send me a link – I’ll place the better ones here in the blog with a credit in the caption!

© Lee Varis, 2014
© Lee Varis, 2014