Whether you’re photographing flowers in your backyard or professionally designed plantings at a public botanical garden, light plays a huge role in the outcome of your images. Here are a few ways to use light and color to your advantage.

•  Walk around the garden to see the ways the relationship between flowers and foliage changes with the direction of the sunlight. When the sun is behind you in a front-lit situation, there are few shadows and the garden may seem flat and two-dimensional.

•  Try to alter your position so that sunlight comes from the side, adding texture and three-dimensionality to your subjects.

•  Small areas of bright flowers will easily overwhelm and dominate large areas of dark vegetation. Look for color contrasts and see how different framing affects their relationships.

Adapted from Capture The Light: A Guide for Beginning Digital Photographers by Steve Meltzer (Lark Books, 2008; $15)