Orange Blossoms

by Joe Musselwhite
(Trinidad, Texas)

I feel like the composition isn't quite right.

What do you think?

This is an artificial plant in our bathroom that really stands out when you first walk in.

Well . . . I think Joe is doing a fair job at critiquing his own photo here – I'd have to agree, the composition isn't quite right.

There are a few tips here that would make a better photograph of these "orange blossoms".

  • First, the vase is cut off halfway. It would help to balance the photograph if we could see all of the vase.
  • Second, the shadow. Shadow can be good in photos, if it is used well. What we need are good strong shadows – the sort you get around mid-afternoon. The shadows of the petals on the wall in Joe's photograph are just distracting – they're not adding to the photo. I'll come back to the shadow in a moment.
  • Third (sorry, Joe!) the arrangement itself. We have a couple of what look like Gerberas (the large flowers) with a few Chinese Lanterns hovering above them, almost wasp like. I get a little lost as to where I should be looking for my main interest here.

Now, back to those shadows. What if the arrangement were taken outside? There you would have two options:

Firstly, if you have a digital SLR, choose a large aperture (shallow depth of field), focus carefully on a close up of the flowers (maybe include only one bloom). Because of the large aperture the flower will be in crisp focus, and the background will be thrown right out of focus.

Second, take the shot as you did above, but place the arrangement next to a wall where you can get good strong shadows. This could be a plain whitewashed wall, or possibly a brick wall. If you can find a crumbling brick wall – even better - it would give the photo a real rustic charm!

Just a few suggestions . . .


Do you agree with Ed? Make your comments in the box below:

Digital Photo Secrets

Useful link (opens in new window):

Click here to post comments

Return to Digital photography tutorials.