Dandelions are a beautiful sign that summer is approaching. They start flowering in late spring and flourish through the summer and early autumn. When their flowers drop off, they produce fluffy heads of seeds that float away in the wind.
Though some gardeners view dandelions as weeds, the hardy plants are actually beneficial to a garden. Their deep roots bring up soil nutrients that shallow plants can tap into. They’re also an important food source for pollinators like butterflies and bees.
Historically, dandelions have been a food source for humans, too. Though bitter, their leaves, roots, and flowers are packed with nutrition. They’ve been used to make salads, stir-fries, wine, root beer, and even coffee.
But nowadays, most people don’t think of dandelions as food. Instead, they’ve become a source of amusement, especially for children. Their whimsical appearance makes them an eye-catching subject for photos, too. Below are some great ways to capture dandelions, plus 35 lovely dandelion images for inspiration.
Ideas and Inspiration for Dandelion Pictures
Photograph someone blowing on a dandelion.
When hearing the word “dandelion,” many people think of this image. It’s a classic shot that’s light-hearted and nostalgic, capturing a moment of youthfulness. Even if the person you’re photographing is 100 years old, they’ll have a youthful look while blowing the dandelion.
Get a close-up of a dandelion.
Dandelion seeds have an interesting shape and texture that makes them perfect for close-up or macro shots. You can focus on the stem, an individual seed, or the full tuft of seeds. All make wonderful subjects for macro images.
Shoot water drops on the dandelion seeds.
To make your dandelion macro shots more interesting, try adding water drops. Already a popular subject in themselves, water drops look beautiful when cradled on dandelion seeds or clinging to the feathery ends. You can try to get a “natural” shot with dew in the morning, or you can just spray water on the dandelion for a studio shoot.
Use a plain white or black background.
To highlight the complex shape of dandelion seeds, it’s best to use a plain background, free of distractions. Both black/dark and white/light backgrounds can work, but each will emphasize a different part of the dandelion seed. Dark backgrounds will direct the viewers’ attention to the white, fluffy tip of the seed, while light backgrounds will bring out everything else.
Experiment with backlighting.
A dandelion puff has a unique silhouette, unlike any other flower. Because dandelion seeds are thin and white, they don’t create a dark silhouette. Instead, the light illuminates the puff of seeds, creating a soft halo around the stem. This halo will have a rich, golden hue during a sunrise or sunset, and a white glow when the sun is higher.
Capture the dandelion seeds drifting off the stem.
With a fast shutter speed and enough patience, you can get a fantastic shot of a dandelion seed drifting off the stem. In general, you’ll get the best images if you use a dandelion puff that’s already lost many of its seeds. Then, your composition will have more space, and the drifting seed will be more noticeable.
Shoot the yellow flowers.
Though dandelions are most well-known for their light seeds, their yellow flowers are pretty enough to photograph, too. Their small petals are excellent for macro shots, and their long stems allow for interesting compositions, leading the viewers’ eyes towards the bright flower.