The workshop at Annie’s Annuals and Perennials became an excuse to talk about backgrounds in macro photography.  It was announced that I would talk about my Think Like a Camera eBook, this but this is Annie’s !  C’mon – folks want to photograph flowers ?!

Student, Bernadette photographing Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun' at macro workshop at Annie's Annuals

So I created a presentation about considering the background of the flower you are choosing.  I am hoping students will share photos for a quick critique on Annie’s Facebook page, and the assignment has become its own Workshop Tip for members of PhotoBotanic.

We tend to only see what we want to see.  While looking intently at a closeup detail, be it flower, leaf, or fruit we don’t see the distractions in the background that can ruin a composition.

Unnamed crabapple tree hybrid (Malus sp) with bright pink flowers at Luther Burbank Gold Ridge Farm

This quick grab shot of crabapple flowers is a throw away photo – the flowers are a blob, the branches are distracting, there is lots of wasted space in the “canvas” of the composition.

Try to make your subject an isolated item and use the negative space around it.  In macro work only one area will be in sharp focus and you can use the blurry areas to your advantage.  Avoid overlapping blurry shapes of the same color – look for pleasing and complimentary colors for the background.

Unnamed crabapple tree hybrid (Malus sp) with bright pink flowers at Luther Burbank Gold Ridge Farm

Work the scene bit, and be aware of what you are putting into the background.

Buy the eBook Think Like a Camera in the PhotoBotanic store.

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