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When is the Best Time to Photograph Flowers?

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/6/2011

Spring is just around the corner and the flowers are in bloom. Learn how to take the best flower photos by following these tips and tricks and learn what common mistakes people make when photographing flowers and how to avoid them.

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    If you and your camera have been hibernating over the winter months, it’s time to wake up, rub that sleep from your eyes, get outside and take the best pictures you can! Along with you and your camera, the world is awaking from its slumber. Flowers are blooming and trees are blossoming - if they could speak, they’d being shouting “Take my picture already!” So, what steps do you need to take to ensure your flower photos will capture the beauty for what they are?

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    Flower Photography TipsFlower Pictures
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    Time Your Shots & Consider the Weather

    It’s a beautiful day; the sun has finally made an appearance after, what felt like, the longest winter of your life and now you’re feeling motivated to go for an afternoon stroll with your camera. After all, the day couldn’t look any better, so it would be an ideal time to snap some flower photos, right?

    Flower Photography Mistake #1: You take pictures of flowers when the sun is shining bright.

    So, when is the best time to photograph flowers?

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    The best time of day for flower photography is early morning or early evening when the sun is low in the sky. Midday sun can be too bright, which can result in a number of problems, such as overexposure or harsh shadows being cast onto the flower, washing out any or all detail. Ideally, cloudy days are probably the best time to photograph flowers; the overcast skies will diffuse the sunlight, creating a softer, more natural photo.

    Another technique you can try is to take pictures of flowers at night. Using your imagination and different light sources (flashlights, external flash units, you camera’s built-in flash, flood light, etc.), experiment and see what you come up with. You may be happily surprised with the results! Don’t forget to place your lights in different locations and at different angles too. To help you master this technique, check out these night photography tips.

    What if you can’t avoid taking pictures when the sun is at its highest? There are some ways to work-around this for when you must photograph flowers in direct sunlight. If you’ve got somebody who can help, one way you can do this is, have them hold something above the flower to block the direct light. Different objects will produce different results, so experiment with items like a t-shirt, cardboard, wax paper, a cookie sheet, etc.

    Additional ways to avoid the harshness of direct sunlight when creating flower photos can be learned by reading the next two tips provided in this article series.

    How to Take Pictures of Flowers 

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    Please continue on to part two of this article series to learn creative ways to take pictures of flowers, including backlighting tips and shooting from different angles. You'll also learn additional common mistakes people make, tips on choosing a background, controlling depth of field and so much more! You may also be interested in reading this guide to nature photography for additional tips and techniques.

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    Article written based on author's own experience.

    Image credits:

    Yellow flower by Hamed Masoumi

    Top pink flowers by Melissa Goodman

    Bottom pink flowers by Forest Wander

Flower Photography Tips, Tricks & Mistakes

In this article series, learn everything you need to know about flower photography. Here you will learn the best tips & tricks, mistakes people make and how to avoid them, ideas on what you can do with your flower pictures after you've created them and much more!
  1. When is the Best Time to Photograph Flowers?
  2. The Best Lighting, Perspective & Backgrounds for Flower Photography
  3. Flower Photography Tips - Depth of Field, Macro & Bugs!
  4. Flower Photography Inspiration & Creative Ways to Show Off Your Photos