Photography Tips For Formal Gardens
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Photography In Formal Gardens - With a leaf not out of place, take advantage of these brilliantly designed gardens.
These symmetrical gardens that are often bursting with colour and texture exist in most parts of the world. Go to Japan and you'll find meditation gardens while European gardens are more rectilinear and often have an axis which the rest of the design follows. You'll also find gardens that are centred around buildings and others where paths of gravel and neatly mowed lawns surround pools, fountains and statues.
LensesA 50mm lens will show the garden as you or I would see it while your wide-angle lens will give you sweeping shots and exaggerate the size and shapes of the structured gardens. Your telephoto is great for capturing the symmetrical lanes of trees and tall evergreens while your macro lens will get you close to architectural detail. Then when you've finished packing your bag, don't forget to pack the sun cream and a bottle of water into the space you have left once all your lenses are in.
AccessoriesPack a polariser to stop glare and help enhance the colours of the garden and a small reflector will pack easy and bounce light where it's needed but if it's shade you need, save space in your bag and simply put your own shadow to use.
TripodRing the garden you're planning on visiting before you arrive to see if you can take your tripod along. If you can, don't forget it as it's a brilliant tool to have on a breezy day or for when you want to smooth the movement of water.
Time Of YearGardens in the summer will, of course, often look their best but this is also the time when the day-trippers will be out in force so arrive early to avoid the crowds. It's also worth giving the people who tend the garden a ring to see if there are any particular areas that are really looking at their best. They'll also be able to tell you if there are any restrictions such as: Are you allowed to walk away from the path to find more interesting angles? And are tripods always permitted? If they're not, make sure you have sturdy hands the day you visit to stop blur creeping into the shot.
Lines And PatternsAs formal gardens are full of lines and symmetry that lead the eye down paths and along hedgerows use a small aperture to get as much of the garden in focus as possible and general views of the garden will always work better if your image has a distinct back, middle and foreground.
Of course, there will be an abundance of hedges, trees, and other plants forming symmetrical rows just crying out to be photographed but also look out for paths and bridges to lead the eye into the frame.