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Photograph Your Garden

Techniques > Photograph Your Garden

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Category: Flowers and Plants

Basic Garden Photography - As the weather's nice make the most of it and head out into your garden with your camera.

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For good garden photos your garden needs to be looking at its best and the light has to be right. But as you look out of the window at it everyday, you'll see when your plants and flowers look their best and you can easily be out there with your camera in minutes snapping that perfect garden shot.


Gear Suggestions: 

Your standard zoom is fine but if you want to get closer to the flowers to hide the weeds you need a macro lens. If it's very bright attach a polariser to your lens to reduce glare and if the wind is blowing a reflector might act as an effective windbreak. However, windy days are best avoided unless you want lots of deliberate blur.


To be honest, bright days when the sun is high in the sky can be awkward as the colours will be too harsh and you'll have deep, dark shadows. A lot of flower photographers prefer early mornings but a still evening's just as good. In fact, if we ever see some nice weather you'll be able to get outside after work and enjoy the warmth of the evening while you take your photographs. Hazy days when it's a little cloudy but the sun's still shining are perfect, though, as the clouds act as a giant softbox, diffusing the light.

If there's a gentle breeze in the air crank up the shutter speed or stick your camera on a tripod and slow the speed right down if you fancy taking some experimental shots.

If you have a path use it to guide the viewer's eye from the front to the back of the image, creating depth. A small aperture will give plenty of depth-of-field. Give your garden a 'frame' too as with portraits, they can be improved with one. Entrances, arches, gates, hedges and over hanging trees all work well. Also, look beyond your garden hedge and fence to see if you have a view that can add to your garden landscape.

If your garden's too green you may need to narrow your focus as even though your eyes can see the spots of colour your camera might not. Getting in closer will also hide the weeds and broken shed windows you want to disguise. Or use them as subjects. Weeds can be just as photogenic as roses.

If you do get your macro lens out make sure you fill the frame and blur the background with a larger aperture. Flowers are nice but look for interesting leaves too as these often have textures flowers don't have. Keep your eye out for insects such as butterflies who can be found on a cool morning with their wings open warming up too.

If a gentle shower's fallen get outside as you can get great images. Close-ups of water droplets on blooms can look great. Of course if you haven't had any rain for a while, fill a water spray or even a watering can and provide your own 'dew' or 'rain'.

Don't think this is just a one evening project either as different seasons, mood and light give you endless photographic opportunities right on your doorstep.

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