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Plants

Tips for great photographs of all kinds of plants.


Pacific Coast trees seem to touch the sky itself.
Pacific Coast trees seem to touch the sky itself.

The objective of many plant photographers is to shoot their subjects in the completely natural state in which they are found, without providing Mother Nature with any assistance whatever, not even to move a twig or leaf, or to remove an offending item from the background.

Other photographers do whatever it takes to make the best possible picture of their flora subject, even if it means artificially altering all the natural conditions of the plant or its habitat.


Most of us fall somewhere between the two opposing philosophies; we want our images to show the natural features of the plant under the most esthetically-pleasing conditions, but we don't want to have unnatural-looking pictures, and we don't want to change Mother Nature.

If there is a fast food restaurant wrapper in the foreground, we'll pick it up so it doesn't appear in our picture (and because it should be picked up anyway). If there is a tree branch in the way of the best composition, we won't lop it off for the sake of a photograph.

 A polarizing filter helped to bring out these intense colors
A polarizing filter helped to bring out these intense colors

A well-tended garden with a good variety of flowers presents any photographer with an abundance of plant picture opportunities.
A well-tended garden with a good variety of flowers presents any photographer with an abundance of plant picture opportunities.

The tips that follow don't dwell on the moral and philosophical issues of nature photography.

We want your pictures of plants to be great, and that is what we hope this section of photographytips.com will help them to become. We encourage photographers whose objectives are to take pictures and nothing else from the wilds, and to leave nothing but their footprints.

Of course, not all plants are wild, and you'll find many tips for photography of, for example, flowers in and from the garden.


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You may have tips of your own with respect to the photography of plants. There are so many plant varieties and infinitely more ways of photographing them that we can't hope to possibly cover them all here. No one could. But, we are happy to receive any tips or hints for plant photography that our viewers submit to be shared with other site visitors.

If we feature your tip or pointer on our site, we'll provide you with credit for the information. If you include a picture to illustrate the point, so much the better, and we'll also credit you with the taking of the image.

This red rose is isolated from the background by selective focusing, causing the background to be blurred.
This red rose is isolated from the background by selective focusing, causing the background to be blurred.

Hawaiian pineapples appear to be hiding in their protective foliage. Bright, overhead sun made it necessary to expose for the mid-range lighting (where the pineapples are) , creating over-exposed highlights on top and dark shadow areas under the greenery.
Hawaiian pineapples appear to be hiding in their protective foliage. Bright, overhead sun made it necessary to expose for the mid-range lighting (where the pineapples are) , creating over-exposed highlights on top and dark shadow areas under the greenery.

We suggest that beginning photographers first review our sections on composition to gain a full understanding of the information herein.

If you come across an unfamiliar term or reference, it is probably defined in our Glossary of Photographic Terms. It may also be covered in detail elsewhere on the site and should be easy for you to jump to using the web site's search engine (or by clicking on it if it's a highlighted link), and then come back here for more plant photography tips.


The bright colors of the crocus, a welcome sight in early Spring, were captured with a macro lens.
The bright colors of the crocus, a welcome sight in early Spring, were captured with a macro lens.
Further information...

Tips on photographing trees

Photographing Fungi, including mushrooms

Flowers