Beginning Photography

The musings of a budding photographer

Flowers: snowdrops

with 5 comments

There’s something very strange about photographers and flowers. I would hazard a guess that everyone who has ever taken up photography as a hobby and bought themselves a DSLR has, within a day of starting, photographed a flower.

It’s easy to see why: great colours, easily accessible and a good photograph is guaranteed… or so you think. In practice taking an inspirational flower shot is tough, the composition is all important as it is this as much as anything else that will make or break the photo.

With that in mind I present my first serious attempts at flower photography, the snowdrops from the garden.

In this first image snowdrops fill the image, a single flower in sharp focus with snowdrops showing different levels of bokeh depending on where in the image you look.

This second image has a little less going on but follows the same idea, focus is concentrated again on a small area.

The final are is a bit of a departure from the others, the two flowers in the foreground thrown out of focus with a wide aperture while most of the bunch in the background is in focus.

I’ve tried three different variations here and I don’t have a favourite, I like them all. I think preference is mood dependent as much as anything. Feedback, as always, welcome


Written by James

March 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Hello. Nice pictures. I began with photographing flowers myself. What was a haphazard shot turned into a beautiful picture.

    Some comments about composition: in the first two photos, the flowers in the front are cut off the image. The tendency is to draw the eye down. Try and frame the lower edge of the picture so entire flowers are seen. This helps the eye move through the entire picture without jumping around.

    In the second shot, which is beautiful, crop the picture so only the two flowers in the mid left are seen. In photography, less is more.

    The third picture is very nice; however, you have a lot of detail on the right which draws the eye away from the flowers. This can be cropped out.

    Nice start. I began the same way, and am a beginner as well.



    March 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    • Thanks for the great feedback Paulo. I agree with the things that you say and I will probably have a play with the images to see where a crop ends up. I won’t post them, this blog tends to be more of a work in progress, but I will certainly absorb your ideas.

      The trouble with these images was that I was shooting blind. I couldn’t get down behind the camera so I just held it down by my feet and pressed the shutter, check on display, try again. It’s imprecise but for these shots I had no option.

      Now I’m gonna go look at your blog.

      Thanks again


      March 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm

  2. These are beautiful flowers. If you look quickly, the pictures seem to be upside down.

    I prefer taking photographs of people and landscapes rather than flowers, maybe mostly because I feel that I can never capture the beauty of nature on film. That said, I like the direction that your blog and techniques are heading; you are very conscious of your craft.


    March 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    • Thankyou very much, I hadn’t noticed that aspect of the flowers but I can see what you mean, a quick glance does give them an upside down feel.

      People photography appeals to me but I haven’t had much opportunity to practice. I’m considering investing in a 50mm prime lens, if I do I will start to get more practice at it.


      March 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm

  3. Hello James:

    I too am a beginning photographer. I have taken some courses in photography, but have a long way to go to get even somewhat better.

    I’d like so see more of your work and share ideas with you. You can give me feedback, and I can give you the same.

    In my photography classes, criticisms flew back and forth and every which way. It made me a better photographer though.

    Thank you for viewing my blog. In the future, I’ll write more about the process of photography from a beginners point of view.



    March 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm

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