If you’ve ever studied some of the better macro shooters you’ll see those nice clean solid color backgrounds that allow a flower to stand out with no distractions to pull your eye away from the main subject. This just doesn’t happen by accident, it’s carefully planned, and not all that hard to do. Most people that sign up for my Macro Boot Camps tend to be flower shooters so this is for the flower people out there.
In the image below you see a nice patch of Dame’s Rocket flowers. When approaching a patch like this I see so many photographers that head right to the middle of the patch to find a flower to shoot. With all the congestion of flowers, stems, leaves, this will only lead to a distracting background and make it impossible to get that clean shot.
Where you need to concentrate your attention to is the flowers at the perimeter of the patch. By finding those isolated flowers at the edges and shooting at an angle where the background is the farthest away will allow you to get those nice solid color backgrounds. In the image below you see the small cluster of flowers on the far right, this is what you should be looking for, a isolated group that will allow you to shoot without all the distractions behind it.
Find an angle where the background that you will be shooting towards is the farthest away, as this will make it easier for the camera to blur the background. Use a smaller f/stop in the f3.5 to f/8 to help soften the background into a solid color. Here is the small cluster that you see on the far right in the last image. The image was shot using the Tamron 90mm at f5/6.
If you can’t find that perfect flower at the edges and have to shoot into the clutter, go tight to eliminate the clutter.