Photographing flowers with right backgrounds will amplify its beauty. Use the right background and you will be amazed with your photos:
1. Natural Background: Blur the natural background to produce a beautiful bokeh using a telephoto/macro lense at large apertures (f/1.8 – f/3.5). Here is a tulip with blurred background, creating pastel colors.
2. White Background: Producing white background is very simple. Get low shots of flowers with your camera pointing upwards at the flower while having sky as the background. Always set the exposure on the flower and not on the sky. Then give a positive compensation of EV +1/3 to +1. This will brighten the colors of the flower while flattening the details of the sky. Avoid flash if possible – use only fill-flash if needed. Same technique can be applied on any other portraits too. Alternately, use a white cloth or paper at a distance in the background and set large apertures to blur it. Here is another tulip with white background.
3. Black Background: To get a beautiful black background, always use a flash while setting the camera at small aperture and high shutter speed. Depending on the external light available, vary the aperture and shutter so that very less background light reaching your sensors. Alternately, you can use a black cloth or background while taking the snap – ensure that the light from the flash doesn’t reach the cloth/paper. Use a bounce flash to get diffused/smooth lighting on the flower. Here is an example.
4. Artistic Backgrounds: Try out different backgrounds. Place a colorful cloth or paper behind the flower to get some interesting backgrounds. Always ensure that the background is blurred by using large apertures. Here is an example – get creative!
—Reader Tip from Venu Gooty
You can find more of his flower photos on his flickr page.