The snow has melted, warm weather has arrived and flowers are shooting up everywhere. Yes, Spring is certainly in full bloom, so now is the time to grab the cameraand get out and about to take some great photos.
While Spring presents a multitude of photo opportunities, there are some tricks and techniques you can employ to maximise your chances of capturing a brilliant image. These ten tips will arm you with know-how and information to take your pictures to the next level…
1 – Make the most of the early mornings:
Mornings in winter involved opening the curtains to darkness before heading straight back to bed again, but with the early mornings that Spring delivers, there’s no reason not to head out when dawn breaks. Shooting around this time should deliver beautiful golden light, that is low and directional, revealing texture we usually miss during the middle of the day.
2 – Use dew to your advantage:
Springtime dew isn’t just great to smell and excite the senses, it can also be used to great effect when taking pictures too. Head out in the morning and look for flowers insects covered in dew spots as this will add extra interest to the frame. Dew dries up quickly when temperatures rise so if you know you’re going to be arriving later in the day, why not replicate the effect of dew by taking along an atomiser bottle that can be picked up cheaply from a garden or home supplies store?
3 – Include the wildlife:
Spring sees the reemergence of a huge number of wildlife species, particularly insects, butterflies and an increase in bird activity. Butterflies especially are photogenic and encapsulate springtime. Early in the morning, butterflies are more docile and can be found resting in tall grass. By midday, they are more active and you’ll need to be quick to keep up with them. Get close without spooking your subject by using a macro lenswith a 1:1 magnification ratio. Be mindful that large apertures will create a very shallow depth of field, so to keep the whole subject in focus, use a mid-range aperture such as f/8.
Image by Matty Graham
4 – Get creative with colour:
Springtime means colour, so try and frame up scenes that include one dominant colour, or two complementary colours. Saturate colours in the scene by using a polariser filter. These accessories come in circular and square forms and are also excellent at removing the sheen from a water’s surface.
5 – Mix up your viewpoints:
Taking Springtime shots from headheight will lead to boring compositions. Instead, try mixing up your angles by shooting from high up or very low to the ground. Low down shots work well with Springtime flowers. Resting your camera close to the ground may restrict your view of the viewfinder, so the solution is to connect to a smart device like a phone using the WiFi function and then framing up using the phone as your screen. An ultra wide-angle lens will also make capture more of the view.
6 – Look for nature in the city:
If you live in the city, you may think it will be hard to create any Springtime imagery. However, it’s just a matter of thinking outside the box and embracing your surroundings. Most cities have green spaces, or ever blossoming trees lining the busiest of roads. A clever compositions can frame colourful flowers against an urban background, fusing nature and a city background.
7 – Use the right kit:
As with any sort of photography, using the right equipment will give you an edge. Along with the macro lens we’ve already mentioned, using a crop sensor camera will also get you closer to a subject as this increases the effective focal length of your lens. Of course, you want to balance this with still having a high resolution so good compromise is a decent resolution APS-C sebsor camera like the 21-Megapixel Nikon D500 or the lightweight Sony A6500 with 24-Megapixels.
8 – Shoot in RAW:
Springtime means colour, but if you shoot in JPEG, you leave it up to the camera to make all the decisions about saturation and contrast. Instead, shoot in RAW format – although these files take up more room on your memory card, they allow for more editing tolerance in software such as Adobe Lightroom.
9 – Adapt to the weather:
Springtime doesn’t guarantee blue skies and endless sunshine, but you don’t always have to stop shooting when the rain starts to fall. Try using the showers as a way to introduce something new to a Springtime scene. On a dry day, this green leaf wouldn’t turn too many heads, but add in the rain droplets and it takes on a whole new life. Of course, just remember to make sure your camera is weather-proof as, if it isn’t, you wouldn’t want to risk it in the rain.
10 – Introduce some people to the scene: Springtime is not only a great time for capturing images of flora, but the flowers and greenery can also prove useful when shooting portraits too. Use the colour and shape of the flowers as a backdrop or border for a portrait and these colourful props instantly help the viewer connect and understand the season the image was taken in.