Final garden photography tips from our professional photographer
“One of the biggest challenges with plant and flower photography is the wind, but shooting in a walled garden like this helps to reduce the annoying movement. Use a faster shutter speed, such as 1/500 sec, to avoid capturing any movement, and if it’s really windy, head into the glass-house or simply come back another day.”
“I like to think of my plant and flower photographs as portraits,” explains Clive. “Just as when shooting a portrait of a person, you have to look for the personality and the character of a specimen before you start photographing.
“Look at the light, shapes, colours and textures, select the camera settings and choose a point of view that will enhance them, bringing out their character.”
Take notes on location
“I always carry a notebook and pen so I can make a note of the names of the flowers and plants I’m photographing. This is especially important if you want to create a database of flora and botanical shots.
“This is very useful for me because I sell my pictures through an image library. If you have the right information, you can also include it in the picture’s metadata.”
Back to basics
“The background is very important in flower shots. Photographers often concentrate so much on the subject that they forget to look at the background properly. I look for background colours that complement and contrast with the subject.
“I think in terms of colour combinations and by throwing the background out of focus using a wide aperture (such as f/3.5) I can create a blurred and vibrant backdrop that makes the subject pop.”
Keep it simple
“Keep your technique as simple as possible. It’s the subject you’re shooting that’s most important, so you don’t want to over-complicate matters. When I’m taking photographs, I often have to work quickly because the light is constantly changing and it’s only good at certain times of the day.
“As a consequence, I don’t have time to mess around with filters, although I do use a plug-in filter (MSoo Velvia v3.0) in post-production to replicate the effect of Fujifilm’s Velvia film. It was my favourite film before I made the switch to digital.”
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Garden photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Final garden photography tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day
10 things photographers can do to stop wasting pictures
Common mistakes at every shutter speed (and the best settings to use)
Best shutter speeds for every situation (free photography cheat sheet)
10 common exposure problems every photographer faces (and how to fix them)