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Pictures of Flowers

Flower pictures are popular with both amateur and professional photographers, and it's easy to see why. With their natural elegance and beauty, flowers make great subjects. Flower pictures also provide an opportunity to be creative, through the imaginative use of lighting, angle and composition. To take flower pictures that capture your subject's natural splendor, try these suggestions:

Eliminate the background.

Don't let a cluttered background steal focus away from your subject. When taking flower pictures, make sure nothing deflects attention away from the flower. Go over the scene carefully before you shoot, looking for anything distracting, such as weeds or twigs. You may want to eliminate the background altogether, by blocking sunlight and creating a darkened area behind the subject. Hold a piece of board in front of the sun, positioning it so that it produces a shadow behind the flower. This creates a dramatic backdrop that showcases the flower's beauty.

Get creative.

A cluttered background can be distracting, but a carefully composed background can enhance the flower's inherent elegance. Try using a contrasting background to make the flower stand out--position the flower in bright sun but keep the background in heavy shade, for example. Or, shoot from non-traditional angles--from the ground, for example. Or photograph the flower off-center. For drama, use backlighting: Photograph the flower when the sun is facing you and behind the flower, shining through it. This can produce several results, from a glowing effect to a silhouette.

Take several shots.

Flowers are complex subjects that look different depending on how you shoot them. Try photographing a flower from several angles, so you can capture a more accurate representation of its appearance. Also, take several pictures from varying distances--like all nature shots, you don't get second chances when taking flower pictures. If you don't get the photo you want the first time, the flower may not be there when you go back. Take several photos when you have the chance.

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