Photo Tips to Help You Capture the Beauty in Your Garden
If you ever wonder what someone cares about, watch what he or she photographs. We take pictures of the people we love, projects we worked hard on and moments that brought us joy. However, what is a photo if it’s not high quality?
We’ve all seen not-so-great images, and taken some ourselves. They are blurry, poorly composed and dark. Each time that happens, we lose a moment that meant something to us and that we wanted to capture. With these basic recommendations, you can step up your outdoor photography game, especially if you’re ready to capture your fall blooms and harvest. Not only will your fresh garden photos get more attention on social media thanks to these tips, but more importantly they will last through the years.
Make the Most of Your Light
Lighting is one of the most important elements of photography. Without it, photos would not exist. The darkrooms of the past, where the film was transferred to photo paper, depended on light exposure. Today, the quality of the photos we take still depends on the same thing, even in the age of the smartphone.
Professional photographers usually try to time when they take their photos depending on where the sun is positioned in the sky. They will aim for early in the morning or closer to sunset. But you might not always have that luxury. Instead, we take photos of scenes that matter to us when it’s happening!
Find shade: If you’re outside under the midday sun, stand in a shady spot. The lighting is not nearly as harsh as direct sunlight, and you won’t need to squint or blink nearly as much.
Move: Try not to take the photo with the sun in the background. If you do, it will result in a silhouette of your subject. Instead, move around if possible to avoid that backdrop.
Rely on flash: In really low light, use the flash. It’s not always ideal, but it will be better than a dark and blurry image.
Try different times: If you can, go out into your garden during different hours of the day and see what kind of lighting works best for you. If you go out at sunrise, for instance, you might get some great photos of your flowers with morning dew glistening off the petals.
Create a Captivating Composition
When it comes to composition, you can use a few techniques to make the most of your fall garden, an ideal practice field.
Center your subject: A straightforward option is to center your subject right in the middle of the photo. This lets you focus on the subject completely, whether it’s a boy watering the garden or a tomato about to ripen.
Bird’s eye: Give your photos a new perspective by getting up high and taking photos from above, like a bird might be seeing your garden. You can stand over shorter plants or shoot from your deck or a ladder to capture this higher view.
Worm’s eye: For the opposite perspective, get down on the ground and shoot your plants from there, like a worm would view the towering plants. One of the great things about photographing fruits, vegetables, and other plants is they will hold still for you while you practice, unlike a bird or child.
Rule of thirds: For this technique, divide your image up into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, and then place the subject on one of the lines. Here, the photographer placed the pole on the left third of the photo and focused on it. It immediately catches your eye and then leads you down the lines to all the other poles supporting the crops.
You can also use this technique to capture your entire garden. Fill the bottom two-thirds of your image with flowering plants and ripening vegetables, and let the top third be the clear blue sky.
Interact With Your Subject
If your friends and family help you tend your garden and landscape, take a little break from working and photograph them in action.
Capture emotion: You need to create a relationship with whomever you are trying to capture in a frame. Many people tense up around a camera, and their smiles may even change the moment the lens is turned on them. However, you want your photos to be fun and reflect what is actually happening. So to get that mood and your subjects to show genuine emotion, you should make conversation and help them relax and look natural. Bonus points if you get them laughing or talking about something they love or are interested in. This method works well for both posed and candid shots.
If you have grandkids who often visit, take them out to the garden and start practicing this technique as they roam among the flowers or show you the cool things they find.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
You probably won’t be able to master these techniques all at once. It will take lots of practice. My suggestion would be to pick one tip and focus on it the next time you take your camera outside. One day your brain will be rewired to spot where the best lighting is, how best to compose a photo and how to interact with your subjects for the best results.
Photographs are worth taking, but they’re only worth keeping if they retain quality throughout the years, and that must first come with your photography know-how. Your fall garden is a great place to learn. One day your children will thank you for taking the time to take photos of your life and their lives over the years. And, they may even ask you for a few photography tips one day.
Your turn: Do you enjoy taking photos in the garden? Share your favorite images with us in the Comments!