Tips For Photographing Roses

1. Watch The Background

One thing that makes me cringe is a photograph of a beautiful rose peaking out through a bunch of weeds and miscellaneous trash. Pull the weeds, okay?
Eliminate all distractions. Sometimes you have to sacrifice other blooms that interfere with the background. Smart, savvy people use Photo Shop. I use Felcos.

Compare the rose with and without the background flower:


Rosa 'Just Joey'

2. Don't Look 'Em In The Eye

This is probably totally obvious to everyone except me, but a straight-on shot of a high-centered (Hybrid Tea) style bloom is not its best angle. Some off-center angle, even a profile, is always better. And the angle of light is best off to the side as well, because it can highlight a petal edge, creating a beauty not always apparent in person.

High-centered roses present a beautiful profile. Note the distracting
second flower at the bottom of the photo (see Tip #1):



3. Some Roses Photograph Like Super Models. Some Don't.

Some roses are more photogenic than others. They're the Super Models of the garden: you can always get a satisfying image. 'William Morris' is an example. Picture after picture is good, even when I'm not trying. The petals create clear lines, forming a beautiful shape, and the delicate color absorbs light evenly. In contrast, a gorgeous rose like 'Yves Piaget' never takes a good picture. Even most all professional photos of it are unimpressive. In person, 'Yves' is a globe of rich color and sweet fragrance. In photos, he's a wad of discarded bubble gum.

Rosa 'William Morris'


Okay, maybe this is not totally a wad of discarded bubble gum. I guess
you'll have to trust me on the photogenic quality of Yves:

Rosa 'Yves Piaget'


4. Groom

Even Super Models need to brush their hair. For roses, there may be a dead leaf that needs to be pulled off, or a distracting petal, or a bird turd. Again, smart, savvy people use Photo Shop. I use my fingers (though not on the bird turds).

Compare with and without the two outlier petals:



Rosa 'English Garden'

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