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March 2017 Issue
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Alpine flowers

Photo: Richard Young
Isolate the subject to keep the viewer’s attention where it belongs


Change your perspective

One common mistake when capturing small plants and flowers is to simply shoot from a standing position. Try to get a unique perspective on what you are photographing by lying down and at the same level as the subject.

Isolate your subject

Compose your image to ensure the flower is the predominant subject in the photograph. Avoid including things that are distracting, such as bright backgrounds and strong colours that take your attention away from the subject. Using a large aperture (f2.8-5.6) and a long focal length lens will allow you to create a shallow depth of field to isolate the flower and keep the viewer’s attention focused on it.

Look at the bigger picture

Including the landscape around the flower can often make a more interesting image. Try to capture the flower within the landscape where it grows. Include a recognisable part of that landscape, like a distant peak or something that makes the landscape unique.

Experiment and get creative

One small flower can provide endless opportunities. Try capturing it with a wide angle lens and including it as part of a larger landscape image. Try shooting from above or getting in close to create a more abstract image.

Location: Mountain gentian flowers in the Rangipo Desert, Tongariro National Park
Camera settings: 70mm lens, ISO 400, f8, 1/500 second