How To Photograph Gardens And Flowers
For those of us who live in more temperate climates, spring has sprung, probably about a full month ago. However, for others in different parts of the world, you can be assured that after a long winter, spring is finally on its way. Perhaps, you are pouring over your spring garden center or nursery orders, ogling the plants being prematurely put out at your local big box home improvement center or Wal-Mart garden center.
If you live in an older historic district as we do, maybe your eyes are feasting on the earliest of flowering trees and shrubs, or maybe the sight of establish tulip and daffodil bulbs as you drive down your street. Some flowering treasures are certain to be found in your own garden.
However, for many of us there has never been a time when we have had more opportunity to share the joy of spring with the entire world as we do now, thanks to the Internet and digital easy-to-use cameras. If you have a garden you want to share it. Can’t pick them a bouquet, maybe circumstances prevent you from even growing your own garden — yet you see the most exquisite flower, and you wish everyone you know could see it. Well, now is your chance, just seize your camera and the world becomes one big bouquet.
There are some good tips for taking really good flower and plant pictures, but before I talk about them, let me share the early spring pictures of two of my favorite flower photographers to give you a little inspiration.
My baby brother, Dennis Wood, actually got all of the gardening genes my dear Grama Daisy passed on to future generations. I’m convinced of that.
I might have the horticultural degree and can wax poetic on the how tos and the histories of plants – but his green thumb endeavors surpass me every time when it comes to the getting dirt on your hands test.
Now, for Dennis, no matter where he roams, everything blooms. Even today, when his garden is already in full tilt show-off mode, living in the Western desert doesn’t hamper his growing abilities. On paper he’s a man of few words, but seeing his efforts posted by way of pictures on Facebook, always brings the viewers joy.
Even Dennis’ vegetables are a sight to behold. Reminding, me that even the food that sustains us, can often be a beautiful sight for a lot more reasons than the bounty on the table. It should be remembered that my brother lives in the middle of nowhere where you usually only see cacti and scrub brush. In a place where water is a luxury, his are often pictures of a garden that practices good management of that resource.
Now, eighteen thousand miles away in Tai Po, in the New Territories portion of Hong Kong — another photographer by the name of Chi Kin Lai shares spring via the Internet. Photography, especially of flora and fauna, along with culinary delights, and of course babies and beautiful women — are all popular subjects for many people in and around Hong Kong where photography is a huge hobby and profession. It’s one place where many people own wonderful cameras and all the accessories — all vying to outdo and out shoot each other when it comes to photography.
These two examples of photographers are my way of reminding and showing you that your gardening efforts, your gardening joys, along with plants and flowers you meet along life’s busy highway, are worth sharing, a way to brighten your own life and that of others.
Flower Photography Tips
- Backlight your flowers by determining which direction the sunlight is coming from; and making the best use of any lighting by placing it behind the flower(s). It other words, make those petals glow!
- Don’t let a cloudy day spoil your flower photo shoot. Lack of sun or clouds can add interest and new dimensions, simply because shadows are eliminated.
- Make use of a mister or spray bottle on extra sunny days, it will add another dimension to your picture and the flower will probably thank you.
- Remember that some of the best flower pictures are ones where the flower has a visitor. It’s sort of like taking a picture of the Grand Canyon, very nice, but if you place a subject somewhere in the picture, it can go from nice to extraordinary. Butterflies, birds, bees, other insects, and even spiders are not only the flower’s friends in terms of pollination, but the photographer’s friend too.
- Make a single flower come alive by bluring the background of the other flowers and vegetation or scenery behind it.
- Stuck with an ugly background? Place something behind the flower. Lots of photographers make use of fabrics and paper.
- Use a tripod, especially if you are zooming in on the flower of your desire.
- If it is a windy day, strongly consider taking the picture on another day.
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