Spring Flowers

Once the Spring flowers start to appear in the gardens and parks throughout the early months of the year we anticipate an abundance of colour and photo opportunities, far removed from the depths of winter – at least that’s the theory.

Here are some more ideas to help you obtain fantastic photos:

  • Firstly, as the spring flowers are usually quite low to the ground you’ll need to be prepared to get down quite low too – ground level is ideal
  • This will inevitably require you to take a ground sheet or carrier bag to kneel or lie on. It may well still be cold outside so dress appropriately and keep warm
  • A standard kit lens (18-55mm on a DSLR) will work in most cases and only use the zoom feature of a compact or bridge camera to isolate the subject – don’t overdo the zooming (see below)
  • Carefully compose your image framing, be alert to distracting backgrounds behind the subject
  • Many people prefer to use a tripod to secure their camera to at this stage to ensure sharpness and that’s fine but due to the low ground level you’re working at this may not be possible for some
  • Next, set your camera Mode dial to Aperture priority (Av on Canon & A on most other makes) this will allow you to control how much of your scene will be in focus
  • You may desire to isolate the subject by blurring the background and to achieve this you will need to ensure the focus is on the part of the flowers you select, then dial in a small aperture number such as f4 or f5. The scene should consist of a sharply focussed subject and an out of focus background
  • Alternatively, you may wish to also include more of the background area in focus and this will require a bigger aperture number (the bigger the number the bigger the depth of focus). However, it is in this setting you may require a tripod as its likely the bigger aperture number will reduce the shutter speed and thereby may produce a blurred photo due to camera movement
  • In addition, as mentioned above, if you zoom in too much you may be unable to hand-hold the camera unless you have a faster shutter speed, to stop movement when taking the photo. Therefore;
  • To overcome these problems simply increase the ISO number until a more usable shutter speed is found to prevent the movement when taking the photo. If you need to increase the ISO significantly it may produce some ‘grainy’ (known as noise) effects in your image. If you use a tripod its possible to keep the ISO down to 100 – 200 and maintain a higher quality image, even when using a slow shutter speed – the camera is fixed on the tripod and shouldn’t move
  • When using a tripod do NOT leave the camera in ‘Auto ISO’ as the camera will choose a much higher number and could spoil the effect and quality of your image
  • By adding some additional foreground light on your subject perhaps by reflecting daylight back into the flower for instance, it can provide additional light into any darker shaded areas, and you will capture some wonderful images 🙂

I do offer feedback on photos so please try the ‘Photo Evaluation’ section within my App to have your image(s) judged and receive constructive feedback from a professional photo competition judge 🙂