Friday 6th February 2009

Flower Photography Indoors

Rose Gardens * Snowdrops * Vases * Light Cubes

This week the snow is the main subject for the news, with many people getting an extra few days holiday due to the snow.

While other countries have regular snow and are prepared for it, we are not now, although half a lifetime ago we had more snow and was at that time more prepared, many of us at the time having snow chains for our cars and perhaps more willing to make the effort to get to places. It also probably helped that school teachers generally lived near the schools they worked, so eliminating the chain reaction, of children not going to school so parents not being able to go to work and the further chain reaction from this on.

The last couple of weeks we have looked at waterfalls, and while they may not be accessible in the snow, once it melts, some will have a lot of water coming over them, so perhaps we should be looking ahead and deciding which to visit.

This week we turn our attention to indoor flower photography, and items to do with it, and have three articles. One looking at flower photography indoors, one at vases, and the third at light cubes.

Flower photography is something that everyone can do, flowers are easily available from florists, supermarkets, many garages, gardens and other places. You don't need a lot of equipment, but if you have a light cube and a light or flash or two its easier to get the results you want. You can also use reflectors with just about anything white being able to be used as a reflector. In the main article this week Indoor flower photography we look in more detail at how to go about it.

Oh Boy 'tis Cold

Image taken with Nikon D300, with 18-200mm lens @ 200mm, ISO 800, 1/320th, F9

In some cases as much interest as the flowers, is the vase they are in. While a jam jar or empty coffee jar could be used, and may allow you some creative freedom especially if you decided to decorate the jar or to fill it with water containing a food colouring,  with the  wide choice available there is plenty of scope to add that something extra to flower photography. Presumably if I did use a food dye the colour would travel up into the flowers, so perhaps there's a topic for experimentation one day, perhaps we could even produce rainbow coloured flowers.  Although we don't have information on producing rainbow flowers yet we do have an article on the choice of vases.

Light Cubes are quick to put up, and nearly as quick to put away, once you get the hang of putting them back away. They can be used with just about any light source, but many of us either use mains based bulbs, or either mains or battery powered flash units. They are useful for all types of indoor photography where we want to get a fairly even lighting. So all types of product photography, items to offer for sale as well as flower photography. In the article Light Cubes, we look at them in more detail, look at the sizes available and how you might use them as well as some special purpose designs.

Roses, and a photographic project

Rose gardens may appear to be an unusual choice of subject for February when no roses are out in the gardens, however we  felt that you might like to look at photographing roses indoors now, and plan towards going and taking roses in their garden environments later in the year. Roses will be on many peoples shopping list over the next week with Valentines day (14th February), a week away, and as you would expect the shops will be well stocked with them allowing you to find a wide variety to photograph now.

So can we suggest a photographic challenge or project, to photograph a rose or bunch of roses. You have all the information on how to go about this within the article on flower photography, as well as other articles linked to it. Colour is a key consideration and this means making sure you are using the white balance settings on your camera.

Displays of roses growing in gardens can be impressive and we have produced a listing of major rose gardens in the UK, some with a vast number of rose bushes. We have also produced a number of location guides for some of these places. There are some on my list of 'must photograph places' this year, perhaps some will feature on yours as well.


We are now entering Snowdrop season, those white little flowers that carpet our woodlands during the winter months.

Spotting snowdrops in a snowy landscape could be a new challenge or game, but the snow rarely lasts long in the UK so we should get to see them fairly shortly. If we're lucky we might get a few warm days and the inclination to visit the woodlands in search of them.

For places on where you can photograph snowdrops we have a list of some venues throughout the UK or for a day out with a difference see Snowdrop Valley, they are open 22nd February with flowers out now. Scotland has a Snowdrop Festival running until the 16th March. Information and links to both of these are on our list.

Summary of Articles Included this week

Photographing Flowers In Your Home

Looking at Light Cubes

Selecting Vases

Lists relating to Flower Photography

Where to Photograph Roses in the UK

Locations Guides Added This Week

David Austin Rose Garden, Shropshire  

The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland  

Houghton Hall Gardens, Kings Lynn, Norfolk

Dalemain Gardens, Penrith, Cumbria (file under Cumberland)

City of Belfast International Rose Garden, Belfast, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


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