Creative Flower Photography – Tip #1: Aim Low

by F.M. Kearney | May 1, 2013

© F.M. KearneySpring is finally here and the abundance of blooming flowers will soon present an array of interesting photo opportunities. Tulips are one of the first flowers to make an appearance, and are usually photographed in large, backlit colorful clusters. As beautiful as this may be, these types of shots can sometimes become a little monotonous if done too often.

I decided to try something different while strolling through the Central Park Conservatory in New York one day. Using a fisheye lens, I placed the camera flat on the ground in the middle of a bed of tulips. Composition was a bit tricky (to say the least), but I found that I could get a pretty good idea of what the camera was seeing by looking at the reflection on the lens. I pre-focused with the aid of a tape measure to determine the height of the tulips. An aperture setting of f/22 insured that almost everything from the ground up would be razor sharp. I then set the self-timer and stepped back out of the way. “The Awakening” was one of several photos I took that day. I’d like to say that the sunburst in the lower left was carefully planned and calculated, but I can’t… it was pure luck!

So, think a little outside the box the next time you find yourself in the middle of a field of flowers. Instead of shooting everything from your eye level, get down low and check out what the ants see from theirs.

Flowers in Central Park Conservatory, New York © F.M. Kearney

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of photo tips by F.M. Kearney on thinking outside of the box when photographing flowers. Be sure to also read tip #2 »

About the Author

F.M. Kearney is a award-winning fine art nature photographer specializing in unique floral and landscape images. His work has been exhibited in galleries, and featured in numerous magazines, calendars and gift cards. He is a frequent contributor to NANPA's newsmagazine, Currents, and the weekly photography blogger for Contemporary Art Gallery Online.

Kearney began his career as a photojournalist for local New York City newspapers. Using the subway as his primary means of transportation to and from his assignments, he became quite familiar with the system. It eventually became the inspiration for his newly-released horror novel, They Only Come Out at Night. A slight departure from photography, it's a supernatural thriller set in the New York City subway.

To see more of Kearney's photography and to learn more about his book, please visit

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