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When we see flowers and smaller plants in everyday life we look down at them from above, and this is the perspective that many photographers choose to photograph. It is an angle of view that reveals lots of interest and detail of blooms and can produce very colourful images. However there are less obvious and more creative angles from which small plants can be photographed.

Cactus in Death valleyBefore selecting a viewpoint consider all the options available. Walk around the plant and view it from every angle. Get down on the ground and explore the options available from low down or at ground level. Also observe how the direction of the light changes the plant,particularly with side or back lighting.

Some photographers have also explored the photographic possibilities from within blooms, the camera directed outward to capture approaching bees and the blue sky beyond.

Even small changes to the position of the camera can make a huge difference to an image. Move the camera a couple of feet to the left or right, or up or down by a few inches, and the perspective changes appreciably. Move the camera around and see how the image changes, look for diagonal elements of composition and observe how the background changes. A low angle of view may be particularly worthwhile because, when using a wide-angle lens, it may be possible to capture not only the beauty of the plant itself but also the surrounding habitat and broader environment. The image of the cactus opposite was taken at ground level in Death valley, California, with the objective of capturing the desert-like environment and the mountains in the background.


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