How To Make Good Macro Flower Pictures

12. October 2019

In spring and summer, nature shows its best side. Now you can find great motifs right on your doorstep: all flower fields shine in the most beautiful colours and are perfect as motifs. In our article we will show you how to master natural and often difficult light situations for photographing impressive macro photos of flowers.

For macro photographers, spring is one of the most exciting times of the year, when nature attracts with its magnificent play of shapes and colours. A special highlight are the dainty wood anemones as in our example picture on the right – during the season the flowers cover the native forest floor with a bright white carpet of flowers. For format-filling flower macros, a powerful macro lens, such as the Minolta AF 100mm F2.8 Macro (identical in construction to the SAL100M28 from Sony, RRP: 849 Euro), is the first choice. A cost-effective alternative is offered by attachment lenses (see below). Both options allow an optimal exposure of the subject and as a result a soft bokeh.

Using an attachment lens

The attachment lens can be attached to various lenses with a universal snap-on mount. With a universal snap mount, the attachment lens can be attached to various lenses.

For occasional macro photographers, a coated attachment achromat such as the 60 gram Raynox DCR-250 (approx. 49.99 Euro, offers a real alternative to an expensive macro lens. Thanks to the universal snap-on mount, the close-up lens can be adapted to lenses with a diameter of 52 to 67 mm. If you use the attachment on your DSLR or CSC, the lens focal length should be greater than 50mm, otherwise vignetting will occur at the edges of the image.

Picture from

In low light, especially in the woods, a lightweight tripod with a reversible center column or bean bag is recommended for blur-free images. Take your pictures at eye level and close to the ground. If the view through the viewfinder is obstructed, use your camera’s folding or panning display to control the image. Pay attention to the position of the sun. Straight white flowers outshine very strongly in direct sunlight. This causes the fine structures in the delicate petals to be lost. This is remedied by a folding reflector which serves either as a brightener or, without the silver or gold coating, as a light diffuser and ensures balanced exposure of the subject. If you have the chance to visit the Netherlands, check out the

Staging a flower with artificial spray rain

  • Spray rain and bokeh effect create a dreamy composition.
  • The picture was taken with a Sony SLT-A58, 100mm, aperture F/2.8, ISO 100 and an exposure time of 1/500 sec.
  • Spraying rain and Bokeh effect provide for a dreamy composition.
  • The picture was taken with a Sony SLT-A58, 100mm, at an aperture of F/2.8, ISO 100 and an exposure time of 1/500s.

You can create an extraordinary atmosphere by using a commercially available plant sprayer to create artificial spray rain over the flower during shooting (see photo). Place the camera on a tripod or bean bag. Adjust the exposure manually: Choose a short exposure time (1/500s) and a large aperture (f/2.8). Focus on the subject manually. Use a wireless shutter release or the camera’s self-timer and set it to 10 seconds. Shortly before the timer expires, apply several small sprays slightly from above onto the subject. Be sure to observe the wind direction so that the fine spray does not reach the lens or camera. It takes a little practice to get the hang of it and get the timing right. The best results are achieved in full sunshine and backlight, as the small drops of water create small colourful bokeh circles.