Friday, April 30, 2010

Exploring with a Camera: From a Flower's Point of View

Have you thought about the flower's point of view before? What is the perspective, near to the ground, reaching for the sun? The answer is found in these photographs. I had a marvelous time yesterday, playing around with my camera from a flower's point of view. I got a couple of amazing shots, like the one above and the one below. They are delightful because they are so unplanned, they are the results of experimentation and play. And digital photography is a WONDERFUL medium for this, because there is no cost to just play around!

There is creative power in exploration and play. I'm thinking to post some "Exploring with a Camera" ideas like this from time to time, let me know if you want to participate and I'll create a Flickr group to share photos so that we can create a little community of explorers!

So here are some tips on how to explore from a flower's point of view:
1. Hold the camera near the ground, pointing up toward the flower. You are not looking through the viewfinder, at the screen, anything. Depending on your camera/lens minimum focus requirements you will have to play with distance to hold the camera away from the flower.
2. Shoot, review, shoot, review. Move the camera, the angle. After a while you'll get a better hang of what you are aiming for remotely.
3. If you're not getting the focus you want (say, on the flower), switch to a manual focus point. For the second image above, I set the focus point for top middle point, then took a bunch of pics moving the camera around a bit to get the one flower in focus that I wanted.
4. Play around with aperture. Higher aperture will give you a better opportunity to get what you want in focus. Lower aperture will really help your flowers pop, but focus will be difficult.

During the whole process, delight in the randomness of the images. Laugh at the ones that came out totally awkward. Swoon over the ones you think that come out amazing. Enjoy the freedom that comes out from letting go of planning, composing, deciding with every shot!

One final image for today, of my favorite stretch of the path in Parco di Monza. You've seen it in winter, and here is spring. This was the time of year we moved to Italy last year, and I remember thinking over and over "I need to go over and take pictures of those flowers under the trees" as I drove by the park. I never did, spring progressed into summer and the flowers went away. So I promised myself THIS YEAR I will go do it. And I finally did!


  1. I love these three photos. That park is amazing. They just don't make them like that in Denver. *sigh*

  2. Dear Kat,
    Sounds like you are having a wonderful time there and your photos are beautiful.
    I love exploring and snapping away too, as I love being at one with all things and if that means being really close, so be it because it brings the connection of all things closer.
    If you decide to set up a Flickr group, let me know as I would love to join and I have so many photographs to share of nature. (over 500)
    Have a wonderful weekend! I found you over at Creative Every Day. I am also participating. :)

  3. what an incredible place to be. i love these photos. (btw, I'm visiting from SS for the first time).
    I use this technique for shooting alot of the time. it makes for some interesting viewpoints. thanks for the tips

  4. I can not believe I came across this blog!! What a god send to me :)!! My husbnad just bought me a new camera, I have no clue how to even begin so I will be visiting your sight here and reading and learning!! THANKYOU!! Gorgeous photos!!


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