I’m sure you love fresh flowers. Am I right? But what about about old dying flowers? You know, those you throw out when they start to look sad and dry…
Why not get creative and turn those old flowers into some FINE ART photos?
You can capture amazing photos of old flowers with all their texture and character. It just requires a few tricks.
So in this blog post, I will show you how I turned this old bouquet (see photo below) into a series of fine art flower photos + I will share five techniques that will help you do the same.
Let’s dive right in, starting with…
1. Use A Macro Lens
The best lens for photographing flowers is a macro lens. For the photos in this post I have used the 100mm Marco Lens from Canon. I love it because you can get really close to the flower and capture their beauty up and close.
This makes it possible to show the amazing texture of the wilted flower petals. If you don’t have a macro lens you can also use a lens like the 50mm or a zoom lens, and then crop it in post production to get closer to the flowers. But the best choice is definitely a macro lens.
2. Move In Close
When you photograph old flowers, it’s important to get close so the viewer can enjoy the details. It’s within the details the story of the dying flowers appear. Showing textures and details of the flowers ageing process will help evoke emotions and interest.
Experiment with photographing just one single flower and then move in close so that one flower fills up most of the frame. This will give power to the flower and make it shine like a star.
3. Fill The Frame
Another great way to capture old flowers is to completely fill the frame with flowers. To do this simply cut off all the flower heads of your old bouquet. Cut some of them so they still have a bit of stem, and cut others so they have no stem left.
This will help you create a more pleasing composition because those flowers with no stem can easily be placed turning directly up against the camera and those without a stem can be placed sideways. Now place all your flower heads close together on a matte surface, and photograph your composition from above.
4. Experiment With Simplicity
You don’t need an entire bouquet to create some artistic flower photos. You can simply play with just a few dried flower petals like I did in the images below.
The key to this look is to use a macro lens, and also pick a background with charming texture. Sprinkle your flower petals out and play with different compositions. Look into your lens and move around until you spot something that looks interesting.
5. Consider The Background
The background will play a major role in the final look and feel of the image. For a dark and moody atmosphere I recommend using a black background. This will give you a timeless and classical look. You can simply use a black piece of fabric or a cardboard. Make sure it’s matte and not too shiny.
Another option is to play with layering. In the photo below I placed various layers of papers; handwritten notes, brown paper and postcards. This technique adds so much to the storytelling but it also takes a bit of the attention away from the flowers. So experiment to see what you like.
In the next two photos I have used a homemade background with a crackle effect. This creates a beautiful antique look as if the flowers are photographed on top of an old French table – but in reality it’s just a piece of plywood that I have painted. I think this adds such a lovely feeling to the image and the antique look also complements the old flowers.