Focus Tips for Great Flower Photography

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Which Focus Selection is Best for Flower Photography? – here are a few focus tips
Focus Tips for Photographing Flowers

How To Control Focus when Photographing Flowers

Summer is great for photographing flowers.  Colour just pops out at you everywhere – in the garden or local parks.  This is the season to be photographing flowers and this summer the weather has been warm, dry and sunny.  What a great way to spend a few hours in warm sunshine and heady summer scents.

I usually take a 100 mm macro prime lens when I photograph flowers.  This lens is pin sharp in its details and if you take a tripod too, you can get in real close…and let colour just burst throughout your picture.

When photographing flowers aperture priority is an essential to achieving the look you want in your photograph.  Prime lenses have very shallow apertures, and my 100 mm shallowest aperture value is 2.8.  This value is a shallow depth of field and when photographing flowers if you hand hold a shot, just breathing will move the focus to another position in your frame.  This means that what you wanted in focus may end up being out of focus.  Using a tripod stops any movement in position of the camera so that the point of focus remains the same.  However, just a breath of gentle wind will move the flower and hey your point of focus has moved.

If you use Auto Focus it can be more difficult to position the focus point exactly where you want to achieve focus.   If you choose to use the centre focal point, focus then focus lock and then recompose the shot you will also find that the point of focus has changed due to using a shallow depth of field.  When you are really close to a subject depth of field can be as short as a few inches and if you focus then recompose the shot this is why you may find that you have lost focus from what you originally wanted to be in focus.

The Solution?

Using manual focus controls exactly the point of focus.  It’s also great to see focus being achieved – this can have a dramatic effect on how you take your flower shots as it may make you change your mind as to where you position your point of focus in your shot.  I usually manually focus using the viewfinder, but you can also use the LCD display and magnify the focus area and then manually focus.  If that gentle wind blows through the garden, it is easy to keep manually focusing and the press the shutter.  Point of focus where you want it in your shot!   Hope you have enjoyed these focus tips for great flower photography.  Feel free to share your best focus tips by posting comments below.

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