flower photo tips

Happy Monday!
Today, I thought I'd share some pretty flower photos and photo tips with you.  I love flowers, and never tire of their beauty.  
The kids and I went to a nearby demonstration garden, the Gardens at Spring Creek shortly after school got out.  
It was a cloudy and rainy day, which made for great light to shoot flowers in.

When shooting flowers, I like to try to play around a lot with the angles I'm using.  In the shot below, I got down pretty low so that I was level with the flowers, and tried to get some interesting colors in the background since I  knew I wanted to isolate the flower stalk in the foreground.  It helped that they were planted in a lifted planter.  By shooting wide open (the largest aperture available), I was able to capture blurs of pretty color all around the flower.  

f/2.8,  1/160, ISO 100

For this one, I shot down on a single bloom, making sure the parts of the flower closest to me were in focus.  The wide open aperture (f/2.8 on my lens)  creates a nice blurry background of green shapes.
1/250, f/2.8, ISO 100

On this shot, I knew I wanted some blur both in front and in back of the area in focus.  So, I made sure there were flowers in front of my focal point.  I chose an aperture that was not quite wide open, but a bit smaller (the aperture closes down or gets smaller as the number gets larger.)  This way, more flowers would be in focus.
1/250, f/4.5, ISO160

I used the same idea on this one and shot down rather than from the side.  
1/250, f/4.5, ISO160

Here's another side-angle shot, getting a bit closer in this time.  On this one, I didn't want any flowers in front of my focal point, so I just focused on the flowers directly in front of me, creating a lot of blur in the background.  This photo is not in super-sharp focus, but I still like it.  I think it gives it a moody and heavy feeling.   
1/250, f/4.5, ISO160