Photographing Botanical Subjects

When photographing botanical subjects for illustration, it’s important to get as much information as possible. Too often, photographs are taken from far away with lots of distracting elements. This series of photos shows you how to take a better reference photo.

Here is a shrub in my yard. It’s wild senna, or Cassia hebecarpa. It’s a tightly clustered shrub with lots of beautiful yellow flowers. I placed my drawing pad under a cluster of flowers to take the picture. You can see there are other elements in the photo. The white pad blocks out the ground and other plants so that I can more clearly see the flowers. If you have someone to help you, try using a larger piece of paper behind the subject. Have your assistant ...

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