Unless you’ve been watching the new season of Stranger Things, it might be hard to imagine what life was like before smartphones. And thanks to ever-evolving technology, we don’t have to rely on expensive cameras or a degree in photojournalism to produce Insta-worthy photos.
Taking beautiful images with your smartphone’s camera is easy if you know some basic principles. To get you started, here are five smartphone photography tips for flower lovers.
Tip #1: Lights. Camera. Action.
While a bright sunny day may appear to be the perfect time to shoot outdoors, be mindful that sunlight can create harsh shadows on your image or lead to overexposure which could cause your petals to look dull and less vibrant.
When possible, shoot during "the golden hour," which is roughly an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. During this “magic hour,” the sunlight has a soft, gold hue due to the sun’s low angle in the sky. These warmer hues are more flattering as they provide a natural filter.
If you miss this short window, no worries. Taking pictures in soft light is best overall, so overcast days also do a great job of revealing the beauty of your orchid since the clouds act as a natural diffuser.
When indoors, use the light from your window to highlight the features of your flowers. Indirect light or lamp light can also help you get the job done with ease.
Try this: Take photos of the same flower in various types of light: direct sunlight at noon, during the golden hour, in a dimly-lit room, and on an overcast day outdoors. Note how the source, angle, type, and strength of the light affects the exact same flower.
Tip #2: Stay focused and steady
There are many ways to capture the complex beauty of an orchid on camera. When photographing flowers, it’s important to focus your lens on the part you want to highlight. This results in a much crisper photo.
Smartphone technology has made this easy for users with its touch focusing feature. Portrait mode offers great focus as it blurs the background and mutes any distractions, letting your subject pop and command all the attention.
You know that a steady hand when taking pictures will give you much better photos, but that’s easier said than done. Fortunately, most iPhones and Android smartphones offer optical image stabilization and AI correction for shaking hands. To increase the likelihood of a better-quality image, you still want to do your best to keep a steady hand.
Try this: Rest your elbows on a nearby object, such as a table, if possible. Firmly plant your feet and take a deep breath and then press the button during the stillness before the exhale.
Tip #3: Have Fun and Experiment
Actor and comedian Jim Carrey once said, “Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” And he’s right.
If flowers aren’t concerned about how and where they are going to bloom, you shouldn’t overthink how your photos will turn out. Just follow steps one through three and start capturing. Experiment with the angles. Realize that mistakes are just lessons.
Try this: Place your flower on a table and then take a photo from above while standing on a chair. Then, sit on the ground and snap some photos from below. You’ll be surprised by how different your flowers look depending on the angle from which you take the photos!
Tip #4: Turn Your Work Into Art
Now that you have a library of flower photos, it's time to edit your work. Smartphones come equipped with editing options and filters to make your orchid pictures pop. Need to adjust the lighting? Thinking about cropping the edges or rotating your picture? Want to add a dramatic filter? Well, you can do all that right in your photo settings!
After you’ve edited your photo, consider printing it onto a large canvas and framing it. Floral art is a staple in wall décor; why not add your own original artwork to your home or office?
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