I was born into a world of flowers. My father was a keen horticulturist and we had a large cottage garden and two very large greenhouses where dad used to grow his prize-winning chrysanthemums.
As a little girl, I was always down the garden helping out in the greenhouses. I loved getting my hands dirty, transplanting the seedlings out ready for a new season. I actually bought my first camera just so I could take pictures of our garden and the flowers.
It wasn’t too long before I became hooked on photography, and it has been my passion been ever since.
I attended night school for photography, joined a local camera club, and then became a member of the Royal Photographic Society, achieving first a Licentiateship, progressing onto Associateship and finally gaining my Fellowship with a panel of twenty macro images of flowers, frost and ice. I am also a member and supporter of the Disabled Photographic Society, of which I also hold a Fellowship.
Today there are so many books about garden and flower photography and even more articles on the web it is easy to get lost without even ever taking a picture. These are the things I think of before I press the shutter:
- Do you want to photograph just one flower, a group of flowers or a garden scene?
- Decide what aperture to use, if you want to have all the flower in focus you need to use a small aperture e.g f16 or if it is just one element select an aperture of f4 or less. Remember also that the larger the focal length of the lens the shallower the depth of field will be.
- What is the condition of the flower ? With the quality of lenses and cameras now available, any flaws and defects will show up.
- Always look around the frame before you press the shutter to see if there are any distractions in the background. I know everyone has Photoshop but it is easier if you get it right in camera.
Flower photography is not just a summer hobby. Autumn is also a great time to be out with the camera with all the rich autumnal colours of the leaves. Winter brings snow and frost which bring a whole new dimension to garden photography.
To quote John Ruskin “there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather”. However, for outdoor flower photography, it is a lot easier if there is little or no wind. Early morning and late evening can be the best times when the light is softer and the wind tends to drop.
There is so much more I could say but the most important thing is to have fun, after all, that should be what photography is all about.