Instead of photographing the flowers outside in your yard, try bringing the flowers indoors to better control the lighting, composition, and background. This can help to create better flower photos right in your own home.
In this blog post, I’ll describe the set up, equipment, and camera settings that I used to photograph these dogwood blooms.
Set Up Tips for Indoor Flower Photos
Dogwood blooms have short stems so I used regular household spring clamps to hold the flowers. These can be purchased at your local hardware store. Buy a set with various sizes. I used the smallest clamp to hold the stems of the Dogwood Blooms and a larger clamp to keep the smaller clamp stable and hold the flower upright.
The clamps can be moved around to create the composition. Make sure the clamps are not in your composition or are in a location where they can be cropped out. The clamps did show up at the bottom of some of the dogwood bloom photos, but they were easily cropped out of the frame.
The background in this photo is black velvet.
Original Photo with Clamps Showing
I used a gooseneck lamp for a constant light source. The lamp was elevated and located to the back left of the subject. I reflected the light into the gold side of a Fotodiox 22" 5-in-1 Reflector . I like to use reflected light as it helps to keep the flowers from getting blown out highlights.
I also used a second reflector in front and slightly to the left of the flowers to reflect the light onto the front of the flowers and remove some of the shadows.
Two Clamp Setup With Reflector
The aperture was set at f/29.0 for maximum depth of field. This was to ensure that all parts of the flowers were in focus. I used an ISO of 400 for a 10 second exposure. The exposure compensation was set at -2/3 to help reduce hot spots on the flowers.
I used a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens mounted on the Canon 5d Mark III for the shot. The Camera was mounted on a carbon fiber tripod. I used a wired remote shutter release to reduce vibration when tripping the shutter.