Updated April 2012.
A brisk walk around your local park on a Sunday morning is a great way to start your day and while you are there, take advantage of the morning light and shoot landscapes, natural history and candids.
- Macro Lens - Will get you close to the flowers and plants.
- Telephoto Lens - Will let you capture the squirrels and other shy animals that call the park their home.
- Standard Zoom Lens - Fine for candids of runners and dog walkers.
- Polarising Filter - Will cut-down on glare on a particularly bright day.
- Compact Cameras - If you're looking for a camera you can slip in your pocket rather than carrying a camera bag on your shoulder, take a compact. You can shoot manually or use the various modes, such as Macro, which are available.
There should be plenty of people for you to snap candids of but if your walk takes you near a playground it is probably a good idea to put your camera down - unless the subjects are your own kids.
Do remember it's always best to ask before clicking the shutter but for less posed shots, you could try shooting from the hip. Park keepers and gardeners going about their business are also great subjects for park life story shots.
Birds, squirrels and if you have a pond, ducks can be found in parks and with a telephoto lens in your hands you can set up and snap your shot without scaring them away. Don't forget about the foliage and flowers either. With a good macro lens or extension tubes on a longer lens you can get in close while a wider lens will give you a shot that puts the flowers into context. An overcast day, when the light is gently diffused, is the perfect time for this sort of shooting.
Paths and lines of flowerbeds can be used to guide the eye through the image while repetitive patterns such as lines of trees, street lighting and fencing can add symmetrical interest to your shots.
If you happen to be out after a shower you'll have vivid greens and raindrops to focus on. You could even come back to the same spot during different times of the year to create a series of seasonal images that would look great hung on your wall.