Just wanted to capture a beautiful flower.
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Flowers remain one of the more popular photography subjects. And it’s easy to see why – they’re colourful, bright, often fragrant and remind us of warm days!
Capturing all that in a photograph consequently presents a challenge. To get a good shot will require a good lens, and I’ll explain why . . .
Close ups like Ratheesh’s look better when the flower is in pin-sharp focus, and background is thrown completely out of focus. The only way to achieve this is to have a lens that has a wide aperture. The aperture is indicated by a number; on a compact camera that number is likely to be around 4. On a good digital SLR lens that number falls to around 1.8.
This is important because the lower that number goes, the smaller the depth of field in the photo (depth of field is the amount of the photo that is in focus). For photos like Ratheesh’s you ideally want a very small depth of field – in other words you want only the flower to be in focus, and everything else to be blurred. Click to read more about depth of field.
Without a lens that has the ability to produce a shallow depth of field, photos like this are difficult to pull off well.
But there are things that can be done to improve things a little – first, the shooting angle.
Ratheesh has taken this photo from a side-on direction. It would have looked better I think if it had been more head-on. This would have meant the background would take up less of the photo, and the flower would take up more.
It would also have helped (if possible) to get a flower that was in sunlight, and frame it with a shady background. This would again concentrate the scene on the flower.
All in all, it’s a nice enough photo, and I hope there are some useful tips here on improvements.
Ratheesh, thanks for your submission,
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Return to Digital photography tutorials - submissions, February 2008.