Keys to success: Isolate, simplify, and watch subject placement
This article is excerpted from Tony Sweet's BetterPhoto.com course:
© Tony Sweet
All Rights Reserved
Fine Art Flower Photography
The beauty and infinite patterns of flowers make them a wonderful subject for photographic interpretations. Flowers are among the first subjects that all new photographers seek. They don't move (except for an occasional breeze), don't mind being photographed and therefore, are an excellent way to learn about and experiment with lenses and filters, exposure, composition, and special photographic techniques and effects.
Some general ideas and concepts to keep in mind during all of the lessons:
- Special effects include slide sandwiches, multiple exposures, using wind to help create an "impressionist" look, and photographing through a textured surface.
- Special techniques include selective focus, selective filter use, and use of reflectors and diffusers. These will all be illustrated and discussed.
Isolate: Make your subject clear. If you are photographing a group of flowers, isolate one or two or three. Select a specific subject to photograph out of the group.
Simplify: Watch out for busy backgrounds, hot spots, black holes, and extraneous elements entering the frame.
Backgrounds: The backgrounds are at least as important as the subject. Nothing can kill an image quicker than a busy background. There may be as little as an inch or less of camera repositioning to go from a distracting background to a pleasing, detail-less, muted background.
Subject placement: There are three "centers" in a frame: center-top, which is fine; center-bottom, which is fine; and center-center, otherwise known as "bulls-eye" composition, which is mostly not fine. The only hard-and-fast general rule is to avoid the center of the frame, although there are exceptions to this rule.
This article is excerpted from Tony Sweet's BetterPhoto.com course: Fine Art Flower Photography
About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Tony Sweet
After 20 years as a professional jazz artist, Tony changed careers and directed his creative juices towards nature photography. The improvisational, spontaneous, and abstract nature of jazz are also integral elements of nature photography.
Today, Tony's work is published worldwide and is represented by The Getty Picture Agency.
Tony conducts his "Visual Artistry" photography and digital printing workshops from March through October throughout the continental United States and Canada. Tony's articles and photography are featured in Shutterbug and Rangefinder magazines, and as contributor to Nikonnet.com. He’s also a columnist for Nikon World Magazine.
He has authored three books on the art of photography: Fine Art Nature Photography, Fine Art Flower Photography, and Fine Art Photography: Water, Rain, Fog. All are published by Stackpole Books.
He maintains an active speaking schedule on the subjects of nature and flower photography and marketing, addressing professional photography organizations, universities, seminars, and workshops.
Tony is on the instructor staff of BetterPhoto.com, and is a member of the Baltimore chapter of ASMP. And he has been named a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens and is a charter member or nikSoftwares TeamNik!
To learn more about Tony, visit his Web sites: