Beautiful Flowers … And Don Charisma’s Quick Guide To Taking Nice Photos

It’s amazing what one can do in five minutes on the way to the beach !

I saw these flowers and my first thought was of the lighting. Best to get the source behind one, whilst paying attention not to overshadow the subject or leave a silhouette of oneself on the ground … well unless that’s the desired effect ! Wind is another factor that comes into photography, especially flowers. If it’s windy they tend to jump around, which isn’t good for HDR photography on my iPhone because I end up with shadows. Lastly I do my best to get the subject, the flower in focus, sometimes this works … sometimes it doesn’t … so this is one of about 10 photos …

Also one has to think about what will be in the background. If there’s rubbish/trash everywhere or power cables or advertising signs or anything else unsightly then it’s worth planning for this. Get in a position with what one thinks is a “nice” background.

Then there’s the horizon if any, is it level ? If it’s a portrait, did I get the whole person in, or did I crop the top of the head or the feet.

It doesn’t stop when one get’s home. Which photo is “the best”. Well partly an intellectual process. Is the subject in focus? Is the lighting, colour and tone OK or can be corrected. Can unsightly stuff be cropped or cloned out of the shot. The same things I was planning for when taking the shots, really. Then it’s more of a feeling process, which one do I like the best or more than one if it’s a set.

Then finally into Photoshop. I spend now much less time editing because I’ve done the planning, often I’m getting my shots pretty much just right. Usually it’s a quick check of auto tone/auto colour which I may or may not use. Then shadows/highlights, generally I’m not using the shadows, it’s the highlights which gives me a nice control over the contrast to bring detail back into the photo, and a little enhancement of the colours. Then contrast/brightness, often I up the contrast quite considerably to again bring out detail, and up the brightness because upping the contrast makes the photo darker. Then lastly sometimes I’ll add a Vibrance, up the saturation slightly like 1 or 2, then up the vibrance between 1 and 40. Whilst I’m doing all this I’m constantly looking at the photo for a) the detail, b) the colours and c) the overall photo.

It’s a constant refinement of my process. What I love most is photos that just come straight off the camera and are just how I want them 🙂

Taken in Thailand (c) Don Charisma

47 thoughts on “Beautiful Flowers … And Don Charisma’s Quick Guide To Taking Nice Photos

  1. Interesting post, thanks for sharing your advice. I’ll bear your tips in mind next time I am taking photos! Great shots too btw 🙂 x

  2. Thank you for following my blog. I am following yours as well. Nice photos. I wish I had the skill and patience to be a good photographer.

  3. It is with great pleasure I can say it’s a hippeastrum flower. Why? because until I met my husband I had no idea what flower was what. He gifted me two lots of potted plants before he went back to the UK to finalise his affairs and they both died on me. The weekend prior to his return, my friend and I frantically scoured plant nurseries for lookalike replacements! I have been know to weed out freesias thinking they were weeds, but over time – with my husband an avid gardener – I’ve got to know and identify a fair few flowers and plants. Hence my satisfaction at identifying your flower!

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