Short of ideas and inspiration when you want to go out and shoot some photographs? If you have a garden, then step outside your door and into a world of inspiration. There is just so much to shoot—and right on your doorstep. Here are some great keys to having fun as you learn digital photography in your backyard.
I have always enjoyed shooting in my garden, as there are so many different subjects and ideas. But of course, flowers are most times the winners; with their amazing colors, it’s always time for photos. Let’s take a look at some ideas.
1. Explore different angles
Don’t just stand in front of a beautiful flower bed and press the shutter button expecting amazing images. It doesn’t happen like that. Besides the fact that most amateur photographers do this, it just doesn’t make a great image. Think before you shoot. Move around and use your feet this time instead of your head. If there is an obstruction, move it or climb over it. It’s your job to get the shot. Once you see what your images look like from different angles, you’ll be hooked for life.
2. Get down really low
If you haven’t already taken photos while on your stomach or on your back, then swallow your pride and try it out. Of course if you are in your own garden then it’s no problem. Getting down low allows you to explore an angle that is seldom used. How many people do you see lying down in public on their stomachs or backs? If you could see the great photos that result from these embarrassing positions, you’d be doing it all the time. I still get a little shy when shooting like this in public, though.
3. Reach for the sky
Get up nice and high by climbing a tree or raising your hand above your head and shooting. By doing this, your perspective changes totally. You can shoot like this zoomed in or using a wide angle. Either way will result in a unique image. Just standing on a chair or a short ladder will add a new dimension to your garden photography. A quick tip here—always maintain your self-awareness and know where you are at all times. You don’t want to step back off a chair or ladder.
4. Spring clean
Don’t be afraid to clean up a little or do a bit of spring cleaning in the area where you’re shooting. Tidy up the leaves on the ground and remove any dead foliage. This clutter is not necessary in the image, and you probably would’ve cleaned it anyway if you were doing the gardening. There’s nothing worse than an out of place brown leaf in a colorful photo. You can even use a little garden wire to support a flower so that it stays in the right place against your background.
5. Use a tripod
Often when we are doing flower photography we forget that by getting close up the depth of field gets shallower and we need longer shutter speeds to let in enough light. Hand holding at a slow shutter speed means more vibration and a blurry image. A tripod allows you to slow down the shutter speed and get zero movement from your hand
Flower photography in the garden is very rewarding. Be prepared to experiment and break the rules. Who knows, you might come up with some stunning shots. If after the first time you don’t succeed, keep trying. Practice make perfect, as the old adage goes. Happy shooting!
About the Author:
Wayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography. He has produced 21 Steps to Perfect Photos, a program of learner-based training using outcome-based education.
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