Woodland wildflowers of the early spring are always a welcome sign to me and a subject that I l love to photograph. Although there are some challenges to photographing wildflowers, the composition possibilities are endless and you'll never run out of ways to explore this amazing display.
One of the challenges you'll encounter when photographing really small wildflowers up close is the extremely thin depth of field, or the range of the photograph that's actually in sharp focus. And at the same time you usually want to simplify the background so that its not too much of a distraction. You can use a focus stacking strategy which requires fairly precise work in the field and then blend the images together in your digital darkroom. I usually prefer to keep it simple and make the most of a single exposure.
In the image above, I really liked the stark white of the Rue Anemone set against the soft green colors in the background. I also liked the way to flowers seemed to flow which keeps the eye moving. Each individual blossom seemed to be pointed in a slightly different direction which makes the grouping less static. I chose to place the flower grouping at the bottom to ground the image and also leave some room to let the eye wander in the dappled light of the soft green background. The slight difference in tones adds some visual interest and encourages the eye to explore.
Here's a couple of quick tips to remember when photographing woodland wildflowers:
1. Pay attention to the background and look for elements that might be distracting 2. Also look at the edges of the frame for distracting elements 3. Consider your depth of field carefully and use Live View and Depth of Field Preview on your camera if you have it 4. Carefully pay attention to the angle of your sensor plane in relationship to the subject, minor adjustments make a big difference 5. Get creative with very limited depth of field and isolate different subjects
Canon 5D Mk II TS-E 90mm lens f/8 at 1/50 of a second, ISO 100
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Cover Hardwood Nature Trail