Tips for photographing roses 1: wait for a cloud

Wait-for-a-cloudFor many years, I had the luxury of spending the odd, balmy summer’s day in David Austin’s rose garden, working with leading garden photographers who visited to take pictures of roses. I plan to share a few of the techniques I learned in an occasional series. So here’s my first tip to help you take better pictures of roses (and most other flowers):

Wait for a cloud

Always take pictures of flowers or gardens on overcast days if you can. Full sunlight dancing on all the colours of the garden is a big ask, especially in the middle of the day, no matter what camera you’re using. Most professional garden photographers stubbornly, resolutely, wait for clouds to cross the sun if asked to take pictures in bright, sunny weather.

This simple trick really does make a big difference. It prevents the colour bleaching out and helps to bring out more details.

So if you see someone in a garden, squinting up at the sky, willing a cloud to float in the ‘right’ direction, it’s most likely a photographer. By all means go and chat at this point if there’s no clouds around, but be prepared to move fast as soon as one works its magic!

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