Making Photos of Plants and Flowers Look Dramatic

How you can take casual snaps of roadside flowers and make them look dramatic with simple photo editing tools.

Making Photos of Plants and Flowers Look Dramatic

Photography. Everywhere.

If you have a smartphone and a few seconds to spare while you're walking somewhere, you can usually find at least something visually interesting to snap. For me, sometimes it's an alleyway. Other times, it's just a humble roadside flower.

It may make sense to use the Rule of Thirds, or sometimes letting the flower take the center makes more sense. Similar for wide versus tall images. The latter seems to be gaining in popularity since we all tend to hold our phones vertically, and so a tall image can fill the screen nicely.

Actually, the photo in question for this post was taken vertically. I think it looks better this way, but I had to use the horizontal (rotated) version for the thumbnail/featured image of this post.

Here's it in all its vertical glory:

Here are the steps I took:

  1. Literally stopped for just a few seconds to snap it. No tripod. No equipment. Just whipped my iPhone out and shot it. I do this probably several times per day whenever I see something interesting. You'll get better at spotting opportunities over time. Often they are not obvious.
  2. Used Photolemur to adjust the color, contrast, brightness, etc. a little.
  3. Used Photos for macOS to added a vignette effect to emphasize the flower in the center and add some sharpness.
  4. Went through filters in Polarr for Mac (from within Photos, using it as an extension) to find one that brought out the drama.

Artistic Versions

So, I use BeFunky to find various artsy filters that look nice. Below are the ones I found that worked well.

How I Use the Pictures

I try to make multiple versions of pics like this because, as part of my marketing for my client, Xtra, Inc., I post photos via their account on This is an indy social network with, as of the time of writing, has around 1.5 million registered users.

If people like your posts, then your account can earn crypto tokens. These can then be used to boost your posts. Thus, for a little effort in producing pretty photos, I can "earn" tokens to promote my client. My main aim is to recruit people into their Minds-hosted discussion group for freelancers.

Pretty pictures are always useful, of course, for sharing on their other social accounts, where appropriate. I'm also using them to build up their presence on Unsplash. The only way to build up a following is to publish unique content that people find attractive, so everything helps.