Wednesday, June 26, 2019

How to photograph roses

April 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Nature


The big secret when photographing roses is to keep the image as simple as possible. They are beautiful subjects in themselves and they just need a delicate and balanced light and a clean background.

Roses are very complex flowers; they have a lot of petals, a variety of colors and a great texture in their steam and leaves.


Get closer. It is important to get as close as you can to be able to show their beautiful texture and delicacy. The background should be as plain as possible; it can be a solid color: black, white or a neutral tone, but an out of focus background works fine too It is important to keep in mind that it should never compete with the rose.

If we are shooting outside we can bring a cardboard to use as a background or we can frame the flower leaving some space behind it to avoid a confusing background.

Depth of field:

Keep the flower in focus while maintaining neutral surroundings, is a matter of trial and error. The closer we are to flower, the smaller aperture we need to use. We could even try to leave some petals out of focus, but it should be done very carefully. The soft focus should enhance the image, but it should never look like a mistake.

When we decide where focus, we must remember that the depth of field extends from 1/3 in front to 2/3 behind this focus point.


Roses, as most of the flowers will not admit sharp and contrast lighting. A sunny day is not the best choice when we want to photograph roses. We should prefer an overcast day or at least we should cover the flower with a white umbrella to keep it in the shade.

If we are shooting indoors we should use filtered natural light. We can place our roses close to a window and use a white curtain to soften the light or use straight light from an overcast day.


It is important to use a reflector (a white cardboard works well) to bounce some light from the opposite side to open up the shadows and get a more even exposure.

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