Using a Low Viewpoint to Photograph Flowers
When you’re photographing a flower, there are many different considerations and things to think about when you’re looking for your picture. One of the most important things to consider is your viewpoint - think about whether your flower will look best from your standing height, or whether it might be better to kneel down, or even lie flat on the ground.
Often the best viewpoint will be dictated by what is behind the flower. For instance, if you photograph a low-growing flower from above, it may be set against dark earth, which isn’t usually the most flattering backdrop for a delicate bloom. By lying down and looking along at the flower’s level, you can set it against other flowers or foliage which you can throw out of focus to make a lovely gentle backdrop.
There are lots of things wrong with the photo of yellow osteospermums (above) taken from standing height. The bright overhead sunlight is not helping, and some of the flowers look overlit, while the ground beneath them has gone almost black. Also, from this distance a lot of flowers are included in the frame, many of which have gone past their best.
The solution – as it so often is - was to lie down flat on the ground! I was then able to take this second photo by pushing my macro lens underneath the flowers. The problem of harsh lighting is now solved, because the petals above the camera are diffusing the bright overhead light and turning it into a lovely soft golden light. Also, by getting in so much closer I was able to select only flowers which were in perfect condition to be in the picture.
Many summer flowers are taller and so don’t require such a very low viewpoint. Even so, it’s always worth thinking about getting down a bit to be on the flower’s own level.
If you’d like to learn more about how to photograph flowers, you might like to consider taking my course “Creative Flower Photography”.