Light and plants

July 04, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Generally speaking, a photographer wants overcast light when photographing flowers and plants. The cloud cover acts as a giant diffuser, softening the light. This means that you don't have to deal with harsh shadows. It also means that you can push the contract in post-processing which makes the flower pop. Fine details can be brought out when a flower is shot in soft light.

Red Cactus FlowerRed Cactus FlowerRed Cactus Flower


This image was taken outside in natural light during overcast conditions. I just held a black blanket behind the flower since the background was distracting. Even though we like to photograph flowers in this kind of light that does not mean that we can't shoot flowers and plant in other kinds of light. What about shooting when the sun is not diffused?

Leaf with Dew DropsLeaf with Dew Dropsleave with dew drops This image was taken just after sunrise. Once again, this image was taken outside with only natural light. When the sun is out make sure you shoot while the light is still good before it gets harsh. The low angle of the sun helps to make the leaves 3D rather than flat. Side lighting is always better to shoot in for this kind of image than frontal light. But what about shooting when the sun is already harsh?

Banana LeafBanana Leafback lit banana leaf

This image was taken in the brutally harsh sun. However, rather than allowing the sun to wash out the fine details, this image was taken from underneath with the sun on the other side of the leave. I am shooting right into the sun - through the leaf. This brings out the veins and color. So the point of today's blog is that you can get reasonable images in almost any light. Just think about how to best use the light. Change your angle or position. Be creative.


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