Most of our gardens are exhibiting great beauty right now — colorful foliage, blooms in wonderful hues and a harvest of delicious produce.
Gardens can be a photographer’s delight, even if you are an amateur with an inexpensive camera.
So here are a few quick tips on getting started with photography in the garden, one of the easiest places to access a wealth of photographic opportunities.
First, as far as equipment is concerned, keep it simple.
A single camera with a zoom lens and maybe a macro lens (if you want to take photos up close) will be sufficient.
There’s no need for special filters, although if you have one, a tripod will be very useful.
Next, wander around your garden, even if you feel like you know it already, and take some time to observe the plants.
Take it all in, because you may see if differently when you’re observing as a photographer.
Once you’ve found a subject that has caught your attention, whether it is a flower, set of branches or a piece of garden architecture, be sure to spend time with it.
Don’t just snap a couple of shots and move on. Get involved with the shot and angle yourself so you have the best vantage point.
Get low, shooting from the level of the plant, or try shooting from above, with a bird’s eye view.
If you find a subject with particularly interesting detail, grab your macro lens and get in close. Single flowers or patterned leaves make for great garden up-close shots.
Try to fill the frame with the subject and avoid including any unwanted visual distractions that may detract from any pattern or symmetry within the image.
Try to include a variety of subjects, and take care not to just shoot close-ups of flowers.
Although they will continue to grab your attention, it’s important to try and capture a wide variety of shots.
Involve some people or buildings to add scale to your photos.
Use any structures, such as arches or bridges, to frame subjects and draw the eye to particular points of interest.
A wooden bucket, some garden tools or a structure like a gazebo will enhance your photos.
If you’re shooting in a larger space in a landscape style, be sure to include foreground, as well as the main interest, to add depth to your shots.
Look for extra features, such as reflections in water or symmetry within the garden to enhance your landscape shots.
Time of day is extremely important, so think about the time at which you shoot carefully.
The quality of the light will make all the difference in how your photos turn out.
Shooting in the middle of the day is not a good idea, as the sun is shining brightly and the overhead light will be too harsh.
You can try shooting on overcast days, because the light won’t be as intense, but it’s best to shoot in the early morning or early evening, when the light will be softer and warmer.
Also, choose a day when there is no breeze, because delicate plants and flowers will be blown all over the place, and it will be difficult to capture a sharp image.
So now it’s time for you to get out there and give it a try for yourself.
Sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration to photograph on wet or grey days, but work with the seasons.
Make the most of those bright, crisp early winter mornings and those golden summer evening sunsets.
Capture your garden as it grows and develops, and you’ll not only be inspired to take more photographs, you also may be inspired to spend more time tending your garden, as well.