How to Shoot Flowers in Macro Mode

Learn Which Equipment Works Well for Macro Flower Photography

Close up with flower
Matt Cardy / Stringer/Getty Images

When shooting close-up photos of flowers with your point and shoot camera, you'll want to use macro mode. By using macro mode, you can achieve sharp focus, even when shooting from a short distance from the subject.

While the macro mode in a point and shoot camera isn't going to be able to match the image quality that you can find when using a specialty macro lens with an advanced DSLR camera, it does provide some advantages over shooting such photos with the point and shoot model's regular autofocus mode. Use these tips to achieve better results when shooting flowers in macro mode with a point and shoot camera.

Better Point and Shoot Cameras Yield Better Quality

When shooting flowers in macro mode, the quality of your lens will make a big difference in your results. If you're shooting macro photos with a low-quality lens in a really inexpensive camera, your results won't be as good as with a better lens in a better point and shoot camera.

Know the Minimum Focus Distance Available

Check your camera's user guide to determine the minimum distance at which you can use macro mode with your point and shoot camera. With some cameras, you can move within a couple of inches of the subject and still achieve a sharp focus. With other beginner-level cameras, you may not be able to move closer than several inches away. If you're too close, the camera's auto-focus may not work correctly.

Flash Photos Can Lead to Wash Out

Try to avoid using a flash in your macro photos. In close-up photos, you run the risk of the flash being too powerful and washing out the details of the flower petals. Instead, turn off the flash and allow the natural shadows and subtle texture of the flower petals and leaves to be easily viewed.

Consider the Composition Carefully

When shooting a macro photo of a flower, you can frame the photo so that only a few of the flower's petals are visible. You also can try focusing on an entire flower or a few small flowers. However, trying to have more than a few flowers in the frame is going to defeat the purpose of shooting a macro photo, so you should emphasize the small details in the flower when setting up the composition.

Set up the Background to Meet Your Needs

With a close-up photo of flowers, one of the biggest challenges is finding a flower with a good background. So just bring your own background! Carry a piece of black or white poster board that you can place behind the flower to create a less-cluttered background.

Different Shooting Angles Yield Interesting Looks

Try some different angles when shooting the close-up photos. Shoot from the top, shoot from a straight-on angle, and even shoot from underneath with certain types of petals. Different angles will yield vastly different looks, and trying a different angle might give you the unique look you're seeking.

Different Lighting Conditions Also Yield Interesting Looks

Finally, make sure you experiment with a few different lighting conditions, as even a slight change in the sunlight and shadows can cause a significant difference in the look of your macro flower photo. Don't forget about shooting some photos on overcast days, as the diffused sunlight can allow the colors of the petals to stand out in the photo. However, this technique really only works with brightly colored flowers.