Pictures of Roses
... Flower photographs from the heart


Did you know...

... pictures of roses have the highest vibrational energy of all of the flowers?

It's true.

Roses produce the highest energy of the flowers and their aura glows, even in their portraits.

Everything is energy...  the roses, your cat and your dog and the sand on the beach.  Roses are romance, compassion and all the highest levels of energy. That's why they're so loved and adored.


There are hundreds of different roses... the formal, elegant tea roses or the soft and gentle floribundas. Wild and free or well-bred and pruned, take your pick, they're magical subjects to photograph.

Roses love the sunshine...  but try catching them when there are clouds so there aren't any dark shadows.  But, if there's a brilliant sun and you know how to manage your exposure...  you've got an opportunity to practice getting some super pictures of roses with back lighting.  

You've got to understand light.  It changes constantly... early in the morning, through the day and into the evening. Great light is the difference between a fabulous image you share with everyone and a ho-hum snapshot that just takes up file space on your computer!


iPhoneography
... your cell phone might be all a rose needs!

This photo of 3 dainty roses outside the Empress Hotel in Victoria will give you a new respect for your cell phone camera. It's the camera you always have with you.  Take advantage of it!

And make sure you get some tips here on iPhoneography so you can get the very best cell phone pictures.


Here's a time saving tip... check the plants name tag when you're taking your rose photographs.  Jot down the names in your notebook with the colour or photo number.  

Remember the Scout's motto - always be prepared! If you don't record the name, you'll regret it.  Just ask me!

This picture was taken early in the morning. The sky was overcast but bright... perfect filtered light and the perfect yellow roses for a note card!

This is Rose Elina... a fragile, creamy-yellow rose and this image is from  Van Dusen's Botanical Gardens in Vancouver, Canada.

I was so proud of myself because one of my  photography instructors pointed out that she could tell right away that this photograph was mine. Yes, finally, developing my unique style!

That's a good thing! You'll notice that a lot of my flower photographs have a bloom and a bud that's out of focus in the background.  Or that when I use textures, they all have the same "feel".  Textures are my recent love affair.

I love this light! I waited a little while for a cloud to cover the sun. Patience is a virtue when you're a photographer! Don't rush the process, slow down and get the best possible pictures of roses.

Meet Hannah Gordon! An absolutely gorgeous bloom... in sharp focus and  background blurred. But even though its focused, it still looks soft and dainty.

Nothing steals your eye from Hannah because of the soft, gentle light on her petals and she almost entirely fills the frame. This pretty rose also lives in VanDusen Botanical Garden's formal rose garden.

This rose garden gave me all 4 pictures of roses for my note card collection.  They were all taken with 35 mm. slide film and then scanned. I use only environmentally friendly card stock... hemp, bamboo, 100% recycled and sugar cane. 

Here's a luscious "china pink" rose with a bud ready to pop out. The petals have an almost blue sheen to them. This particular rose always reminds me of the icing roses that are on the top of a birthday cake! It looks delicious, doesn't it?

It was a bright, cloudy day and I was using a Nikon film camera. The bloom and the bud are clearly in focus but the background is blurred.  Usually I blur the buds as well, but this one is on the same plane as the rose.

It would be easy to blur the bud in a photo editor.  But I left this rose photograph realistic and only added a frame.

If you have roses in your garden and you need information about growing them, here's the source for you! Check out Carol's web site if you want  help caring for your roses.

Then you'll only have to walk out to your own garden to get your pictures of roses.

Backlighting
... I can see right through you!

If the sun insists on shining brightly, take advantage of it!  

Back lighting means you're shooting right into the sun.  If you got a lens hood when you bought your lens, you'll be happy for it right now.

If you don't have one, you can use a friend's hand above your lens... without getting a hand in the picture, obviously!  If you have a tripod, it's easy to use your own hand to shade your lens. 

Basically, back lighting is when your subject is between you and the sun.  If you use this kind of lighting situation, you'll get some beautiful translucent petals but the backside of the flower might be really dark. 

For better pictures of roses, use reflectors to bounce light into the dark areas. They come in small sizes, perfect for a single flower... and they fold up to fit into a small flat case that pops into your purse or your camera case. I'm never without them!  

How to "back-light" your subject

  • You'll need
    a tripod
    a lens hood
    2 small, round, white reflectors
  • I set my camera to take 3 consecutive bracketed shots...
    1 stop faster than what I metered as correct exposure
    metered correct exposure
    1 stop slower than the metered correct exposure

Use the timer on the camera (or your remote) so the camera is still and hands are free to hold the reflectors. I used 30 seconds so there was plenty of time to get the reflectors in the correct position.

With a point and shoot, you'll have to adjust your bracketed exposures yourself between each shot. Getting 3 shots gives you the best chance of getting the exposure nailed since this is a tricky lighting situation.

Imagination and patience will ensure you get your desired pictures of roses.

Pictures of Roses On Solid Background

Look at what you can do by using a coloured matte board, maybe cardboard or foam board, as a background for a rose photo. I usually use a neutral colour to emphasize the colours in the flower. But sometimes its nice to experiment.

Think of all the ways you can use these pictures!

Yellow tea rose isolated on black backgroundYellow tea rose on a black background could be turned into a business card.
Yellow tea rose isolated on beige backgroundYellow tea rose on a yellow background has space for a quote.
Pink tea rose isolated on bright pink backgroundPink tea rose on fuchsia background.

Pictures of roses like these could be used for stock photography (white or black backgrounds are best) because many of the people who buy images want lots of copy space... a place to put their printed message.  

When you choose your background material, steer clear of shiny surfaces. I made that mistake on my first go-around! 

Shiny surfaces reflect light and you'll end up with all shades of different colour in your background. Use a flat or matte finish and you won't have so much fixing in your photo editing program.

If you're shooting for stock, it's best to use white or black as a background.

Photo Editing
... the Artistic Touch

 I love the digital darkroom.  Just as much as I loved the darkroom with chemical baths and negatives. Yep, a die-hard… held on to slide film and chemicals for eons before I opened my heart to the digital revolution. I keep a foot in both worlds!

Want to give your pictures a little extra zip? Learn some basic photo editing. Bet you can't stop with basic....

...that's right, you know you want to push those pixels to the edge. So...

Download a free or bargain-priced model and play.. Crop, boost the saturation, change the white balance. And just play!

Textures Are Terrific

My favorite roses are still the old fashioned floribundas. They're soft, gentle and glowing... but not fussy like the tea roses. The old roses thrive in just about any environment. Some of the most beautiful wild roses grow on the side of the highways!

These pink floribundas are from Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. They're beautiful even without a make-over but I just can't seem to leave a good image alone! So, I used three layers of textures and then softened them up with a glow filter. 

The pictures of roses from this day remind me of the old wallpapers they used in bedrooms.  And those patterns have made a come-back in interior design.  Gorgeous!

Adding text
... quotes or poems to share on social media

If you're into Social Media... and who isn't...  how many photos with inspirational messages come across your wall every day?

Thousands, right?

I love matching an image with some inspiring thought.  One more way of expressing myself through my photos. 


Your photos all tell a story... but why not write your thoughts on them?

I'm using Photoshop CC now and it's got all the text capability that I need. If you're running an earlier version of Photoshop, you might want to look into CC, but not only for the text improvements. Photoshop keeps getting better and better!

There are a few examples of text in my pictures of roses here.


Gardens have photo opportunities in all seasons. This tender fresh rose was in a bouquet and I admired the young new blooms for only a day before they started to show subtle signs of aging... the natural cycle all of us go though.

Every season has photo opportunities in a garden. There's always some kind of life around, but part of the story of nature is about death and decay... which makes for some pretty interesting photos, too. 

Symbolism
... hidden meanings

 As a group, roses symbolize love. With good reason. They have vibrant auras, no matter what colour.

Symbolically, their meaning changes according to their colour... which also  changes whether the colour is light or dark. 

Culturally, meanings change... also from year to year. It gets even weirder... putting different flowers together in a bouquet changes everything again. Now it becomes a complete message, like sending a letter!

Yes, it gets complicated... if you put in a couple too many stems, you'll  be sending a message you didn't mean to.

But I prefer to keep things simple! So let's make this as easy as possible and leave the bouquet issue alone.... which was REALLY in vogue in Britain and on "the Continent" in the 1800 and 1900's. 

There are many color symbols in my pictures of roses.

Like this light pink rose, she's all about happiness

Ideas For Using Your Pictures of Roses

  • Turn them into wallpaper for your computer monitor. Have you checked out my flower wallpapers? Download the latest one for your iPad or cell phone.
  • Or use your pictures as a screensaver.
  • The 3 rose photos you saw above on a solid coloured background could be the beginnings of a business card.
  • Photos on plain backgrounds are also great for note cards - for the same reason... you can put your own message on them. Just use your photo editing software.
  • On Mothers Day, I sent off some gorgeous floral note cards for gifts. A present with a personal touch!

Practice taking pictures of roses on white or neutral backgrounds.

Open the file in your photo editing program, resize it to the size of your note card... then type in your message.  Now you just have to print it on your card stock.

Wrapping it up.

So, give your technical know-how a tune-up, put your creative eye into gear, and be patient. 

Wait for the right light and your perfect rose blossom. You'll know you've got the right one when you feel a connection with it. The rose's energy will speak to you!



The last of my pictures of roses is a light yellow tea rose... she brings a sweet message of friendship

So, on that note, make sure all your bouquets send the proper message.

In friendship.....



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