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Red colour messy when photographing red flowers



I have a problem when photographing red flowers,
I have always find that my print or slide, the flowers always comes out without details only a mess of red colour against the green background.

Anyone outthere can help me solve this problem.
I was thinking that I shoould overexposure by one
or two stop asw the green colour might have underexpose the picture. I have not try it out


I, too, have encountered this problem when photographing red flowers. Whether in shade or full sunlight the problem occurs. I would also like an answer to this problem. Some possible factors might be:

exposure (over, under)
film type (print or slide)
film brand (kodak, fuji, etc.)
film speed
use of a polarizer

You seem to have eliminated film type as the problem occurs with both slide & print film (as I almost always use print film, that is where the problem occurs for me.) I haven't paid much attention to film brand (I'll have to look into that) and lighting doesn't seem to matter in my experience. I might try to see if a polarizer makes a difference.



I'd suggest that you try a less-saturated type of film. In my experience, highly saturated film (such as Kodak E100VS) will cause bright reds to blend together into a solid mass due to the overpowering color. What type of film are you using?



Denny, I have try Kodak Elite chrome Kodak select asa200 and colour neg kodak asa 400max, I don't think is the film
but I will try to take some more on Elite Chrome
200 Kodak select. the slide will show me the true exposure of the subject as printcan exposure will not always be accurate.

Dennis do try the polarize and see if it does help, let me know.

The last time that I have this problem is when I shot the red flowers against the green leaves not too long ago when I went on holidays. I think I might be in a rush I did not exposure correctly for the subject, but I will.. this time when I am
photographing red flowers again.


Hi Francis and all others,

I have shooted to many red flowers with slides and almost all the time the results were great, at least for me.
I must say that i like to use saturated color slides when i photograph flower, animals or landscapes. I mostly use Elite Chrome extracolor 100 just because is the only saturated film that you can find around here, but i like it.
When i take flowers photographs i do a spot reading over the main subject of the picture and then compensate the meters reading depending on the color of the flower/s. If the flowers are red, i do only a -1/3 to -½EV correction to achieve deep, saturated reds but with details. Perhaps even more compensation should work better, but i have never used more than -1/2ev comp.
I didn´t use print film for these kind of subjects but i realized that almost all print film are too sensitive to reds and always look too saturated compared with other colors in the same picture. Perhaps you should try a more neutral colored film, Portra maybe??


Hi Alejandro thanks for the advise I will try other film, in the mean time I shall try your method on slide film and my normal exposure on red flowers.
Many thanks...


Hi to all people that give the suggestion, I have try Elitechrome 200ED(ASA200) shooting red colour and spot reading on the red flower. I have got the correct reading and exposure correct plus red is not messy. Ihave not try the film yet. The next time I will try that again.


Hi Francis, I had to "red color problem" too, but with Agfa HDC400 color neg films printed on Agfa prestige Paper