Spring and autumn are my favorite seasons for taking photographs. In spring I feel more invigorated after the winter and more inclined to get out and take new photos.
Here are a few of my tips for taking photographs in spring.
- Spring landscapes are colorful and the new spring growth looks great against a blue sky. To make the colors more saturated—particularly the blue sky—use a polarizing filter.
- Look out for symmetrical shapes and unusual views, such as rows of strong green vegetation or views through tree blossom. Try to frame your landscapes with tree branches, doorways, arches, window frames, etc.
- If you have a wide angle lens, take it out of hibernation and use it to incorporate a foreground view as well as the landscape in the distance.
- Don’t forget about your depth of field. To get everything in focus, use a higher f number, such as 11 or 22.
Sunrises and Sunsets
- Take advantage of the sunrise now that the days are getting longer. The air is cleaner at sunrise, and at this time of year when day and night temperatures vary a lot, the colors will photograph very differently early in the morning than they will late in the afternoon.
- Fog and mist can also be an extra bonus. Try getting up high—the tops of hills or mountains are perfect, as they give you great views over valleys which may hold early morning mist and fog like a bowl.
- A polarizer can also help here, and also remember that fog acts like a soft box and can lower the contrast of your surroundings which can leave you with rather long exposure times, so take a tripod if you have one.
- Your camera may also have a few exposure problems and as a result, you’ll have to use exposure compensation to rectify this.
- If your skies end up looking a little washed out, try fitting a neutral density grey graduated filter on your lens.
- Although the days are getting longer, the sun is still low in the sky, and this can create problems with heavily backlit scenes. Rather than photographing your subject with their back to the sun, try photographing them with the sun to one side but still slightly behind them, or photograph them in the shade under a tree and use your flash to fill in.
- Try using a low f number on your lens to throw the background out of focus; this will also help to bring the shutter speed up to prevent camera shake if the light is too low.
Flowers and Blossoms
- Look for patterns and for the abstract when photographing flowers and blossoms.
- Get down low and zoom right into the subject or use a wider angle lens and very little depth of field—around f/5.6.
- Break the rules, too. Flowers look great with the sun behind them. Be very wary of underexposing. If you’re looking into the sun, you may have to use your exposure compensation at +1 or +2.
About the Author:
Mark Anderson specializes in London weddings (www.weddingphotographerslondon.uk.com) and brings a subtle taste of London architecture and city photography to couples who get married in and around London.
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