Explore All The Angles

January 24th, 2011 by Mike Moats

I see lots of photographs of this simple Gerbera Flower, and I will say it is one of my favorites to shoot during the winter when I’m doing all my indoor shooting.

To many images made with flowers are shot from the front side, with  little imagination.  A flower has so many different angles that you have to explore all the possibilities.

Here is the typical frontal shot, and rather then place the flowers center in the middle of the frame like you see most photographers do, I’ve offset the center of the flower in the lower left corner. Because every part of this view has interesting designs I want everything in focus, so I set my f/stop as the highest number at f/22.

The next shot is also a frontal shot but I moved in closer and only included a quarter view of the flower center by placing it in the lower right side and making the image as a horizontal. Again I’ve set my f/stop at f/22 to bring the whole flower in focus.

Now I change the view to a side angle which has great potential for some abstract images.  With these abstracts I want a nice soft focus and I set the f/stop wide open to f/2.8.  The f/2.8 will give me very limited depth of field and a nice soft feel.  In this first image I run the line of the tips of the petals from the lower corner to the upper corner of the frame.  I place the focus on the two tips in the lower left corner.   Your eye always goes to the sharpest part of the image which is the two lower tips, and then your eye follows the line of the petals up into the frame.

The next shot is another side view, but now in a vertical position and moved the camera to capture just a little bit of the sepal in the lower right corner. Same f/stop as last shot. Focus on the tips of the petal in the center of the frame.

I work my way a little father on the backside so you now see the view of the under side of the petals and a little more of the green sepal. F/stop still at f/2.8.  These images have a really nice look with that soft focus caused by the wide open aperture.

The last shot is still a side angle but much more of the green sepal and a little stem in view. Turned this one as a vertical and placed the point of focus in the center where the tips of the sepal and the purple petals meet.  Still on wide open at f/2.8. You could also shot this with the higher f/stop and more depth of field to bring in all the nice textures of the green sepal.

We have only explored six angles, but they are many more possibilities.  So be creative and explore next time to work with a single flower!

You can visit Mike's blog and learn about his workshops here:  Tiny Landscapes

Mike's eBooks are available in the OPG store here:  Mike Moats

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