Extreme flower photography! Slam dunk your stems for dramatic effects

Photo Ideas: how to shoot extreme flower photography

Water is a wonderful subject to photograph. The possibilities are endless, whether you’re using a slow shutter speed to create a zen-like stillness or a super-fast exposure to capture the action of falling drops. Here, we’ve given both water and flower photography a twist, resulting in flower photography that really makes a splash.

Photo Ideas: how to shoot extreme flower photography

The technique is pretty easy to master. Despite looking quite complex, the lighting, for example, is actually just a regular Speedlight flashgun linked to an SLR via a remote cable.

This means it can be positioned off-camera, to the side of and very slightly behind the subject.

Photo Ideas: how to shoot extreme flower photography - our camera set-up

To get this shot we dunked our subject – some artificial flowers – in the water while simultaneously trying to capture the action through the glass.

As you might expect, there’s a lot of trial and error involved with this flower photography technique, so you’ll need to be patient and have plenty of spare space on your memory card. But persist and you’ll be rewarded.

Once you’ve captured your image, try rotating it 180° in Photoshop to skew the viewers’ perception of what’s going on. We explain how to do this in the step-by-step guide below.

How to shoot extreme flower photography: step 1

01 Set up your shot
Use a glass vase with a flat side and a sheet of card for the background. Set up an off-camera flash to light the scene from the side. Use Manual mode for the flash and camera, and your SLR’s histogram and rear LCD display to ensure a good exposure.


How to shoot extreme flower photography: step 2

02 Fire away!
Switch your SLR to its continuous shooting mode to take multiple shots in quick succession. Plunge the flowers into the water, pressing the shutter release as you do. Make sure you’ve got plenty of room on your memory card to record numerous attempts!


How to shoot extreme flower photography: step 3

03 Wrong side up
Process your raw file in Adobe Camera Raw, then open it in Photoshop and rotate the image so it’s upside down by going to Image>Image Rotation>Flip Canvas Vertical. This will create the illusion that the flower is being pushed up into the water, not down.


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