Photography is a never-ending source of inspiration and takes a lifetime to master. Finally, with spring in full bloom, it’s warm enough to get outside to take stunning garden photos.
Hide or Cover Man-Made Items in Your Garden
Spring is the most natural time of the year. And being all about nature, you want your photos to highlight that subject. Man-made items can get in the way and detract from the beauty of nature itself. So unless you want to highlight the duality and coexistence between man and creation, try to cover man-made items and structures. For instance, you might spot a busy bee going about its business around your blooming roses at the end of your decking. And while your decking substructures that support it do a great job, they will ruin your perfect shot of nature.
Use Water to Take Stunning Garden Photos
Water is great for adding effects to imagery. Water itself is great to shoot because it reflects and highlights at the same time. And you can never really prejudice what it will do. But you canals use water to great technical effect for your shots. For example, a still lake or pond makes amazing reflection shots because it’s almost like a mirror. And it can look stunning as well. A crisp spring morning as the sun comes up means activity. And you might catch dew forming on flowers and grass. Contrasted next to wildlife, this makes for amazing shots if you catch them.
Configure Your Shutter Speed for Fast-Moving Creatures
Speaking of catching wildlife, you need to configure your shutter speed. This also makes for great water shots if you want to capture clear images of ripples and bubbles. Your shutter speed is essential for capturing photos of fast-moving insects like bees and butterflies or even flowers blowing in a breeze. Set your aperture from f/8, so the shutter speed is 1/125s. You should also keep the ISO below 800. If you are familiar with editing and processing, consider shooting in RAW format and working on the image later.
BONUS: Tips for Taking a Perfect Shot at Home
Photographic still life takes time to set up and patience to find the right angle or lighting. Working with nature means you need the patience of a saint and the will of a Jedi. You need patience because you can’t control nature, no matter how hard you try. In fact, you are likely to mess it up the harder you try to control it. In essence, you must let natural subjects come to you rather than the other way around. It could be five minutes, five hours or even five days. If the time isn’t right for the shot, then don’t take it. Understand you will need to wait for the best moment.
Use the Sun to Take Stunning Garden Photos
Catching the perfect shot is a skill that can take you a long time to get right. But with practice and perseverance, you will get there eventually. Here are some small but helpful tips:
- Learn how to use a wide-angle lens.
- Try different lower focal lengths.
- Learn about the subject you shoot, such as still life, nature or children.
- Don’t be scared of RAW format.
- Always remember the rule of thirds for proper positioning.
Photography is a simple hobby with a complex character. Anyone can point and shoot and even get lucky with a great shot. But you need to work at it if you want great pictures every time.
Be Patient when Working with Garden Nature
So much of great photography relies upon lighting. The subject itself literally means measuring light. Because it’s the light itself that makes the shot. So much so that measuring light is a craft unto itself, separate from being the one behind the camera. You can rig lighting setups as much as you like, but there’s no better source than the one in the sky. The sun can be inspirational itself and provides different light at varying times. And you can use these conditions to great lengths. Moody and brooding at dawn, exciting and bright at noon, and inspirational at dusk.
Use Depth of Field to Make Your Garden Colours Pop
Mastering depth of field is necessary for many reasons. First, having a point of focus lets you draw attention. And knowing how to do this is the essence of photography. However, DOF can help define a focal point even better by blurring what you don’t want your viewers to think about. In addition, it makes for stunning image quality when used correctly. For instance, you can blur out most of the background of your garden, with only your colourful flowers in focus. This means attention is drawn to them, but also, their colours are made so much brighter by being sharper.
Before heading out into nature in summer, you can practice in your garden in spring. Again, try playing with lenses and depth of field. But also remember to be patient with nature shots.