Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, learning how to manipulate light to take better flower photographs will go a long way in improving your skills. Lighting is probably one of the most essential aspects of photography. Every photographer knows what bad lighting can do to a photograph.
The Difference That Light Makes
Flower photography is especially dependent on the amount of light because without proper lighting the flowers will not be the center of attention. If there is too much light falling on the flowers, then parts of the flowers will be very bright and parts will be under a shadow. This creates too much contrast and does not make for good photography. You need to balance the light falling on the flowers to produce quality photographs.
If the light on the flower is too dim, then your photographs will look bleak. They will fail to highlight the brilliance of the flowers and the rich color.
To start practicing taking flower photographs, find a good source or subject. You can use the flowers in your own garden or in a public garden or park. You should always take flower photographs under a bright sun for the best effect. Hence, you should try and schedule your photography session around midday.
Using A Reflector To Take Flower Photographs
Once you have taken a few photographs with any additional props, start by using a reflector. Having a few photographs without a reflector will grant you a healthy appreciation for the effectiveness of using reflectors. The light will bounce easily from a reflector providing an effective way to reduce the shadows falling on the flowers. Since your primary source of light is the sun, you should place the reflector below the flowers to allow the light to bounce back on the shadows.
This simple technique reduces the depth of the shadows and provides a much cleaner image. The contrast between the lighter and darker parts of the flower are reduced so that the focus is on the beauty of the flower.
You can use any light-colored solid material as your reflector. You do not have to purchase a professional quality reflector. A good choice for a do-it-yourself reflector is a white poster board.
Using A Diffuser To Take Flower Photographs
Using a diffuser allows you to create a much evener lighting experience for your photographs. A diffuser is primarily used to soften the intensity of the light falling on the flowers. This makes less contrast between the darker and the lighter parts of the flower. Hence, you get finer detailing and a better picture.
If you compare your photographs without a diffuser and with a diffuser, you should be able to distinguish the two easily. A diffuser will lighten the shadows and darken the lighter parts.
As another option, you can use a diffuser as well as a reflector. Place the diffuser on top of the flowers and the reflector below them. You should immediately feel the difference. Take a few test photographs to see how they compare.
Once you compare your different photographs, you will have a greater appreciation for using a few props to manipulate lighting on your future photographs.