4 Photography Tips for Stunning Spring Photos
When winter didn’t put up the great show you were hoping for, and you haven’t been able to go out for a while to take photos due to bad weather! You are probably desperately waiting for spring to arrive. Just the idea of everything coming back to live again after this dull, gray season makes you want to go out and shoot your favorite subjects. No matter what these subjects are, here are a few of my tips for taking photographs in spring.
Tip 1: Landscapes
With spring arriving, also new live starts. This means that colors are coming back into the landscape, which used to be dull and gray during the winter period. To bring out these fresh colors and new spring growth, which look great against a blue sky, you can use a polarization filter to make the colors more saturated. Also try to look for symmetrical shapes and unusual views, such as rows of strong green vegetation or views through tree blossom. Sometimes it helps to push the viewer’s eye to the main subject of interest by framing your landscapes with natural frames like tree branches, doorways, arches, window frames etc., etc. For landscape photography, it is common to use a wide angled lens which starts from about 10mm to approximately 24mm. If you just keep in mind that you put your diaphragm between f10 and f22, you probably end up with the front-to back sharpness. There are formulas which you can apply to calculate the perfect focus distance, called hyper focal distance. I normally shoot my landscapes with a 14mm Samyang lens at f13, focusing on a subject about 1-2m in front of the lens.
Tip 2: Sunrise and Sunset
Take advantage of the sunrise now the days are getting longer. The air is cleaner at sunrise and at this time of year where day and night temperatures vary a lot the colors in the morning will look very different compared to the light late in the afternoon. Fog and mist can also be an extra bonus. Here in the Netherlands, it is almost impossible to find a high spot, but if you have the opportunity, try to get yourself a high spot, the tops of hills or mountains are perfect as they give you great views over valleys which may hold early morning mist and fog like a bowl. Remember that fog acts like a big soft box and can lower the contrast of your surroundings which can leave you with rather long exposure times so take a tripod if you have one. Your camera may also have a few exposure problems and as a result, you’ll have to use + exposure compensation to rectify this or at least shoot in RAW modus so you can tweak your exposure in e.g. Lightroom. If your skies end up looking a little washed out try fitting a neutral density gray graduated filter. Lee has special holders and filters for these kind of jobs and they are the best out there, a bit expensive, but nothing then the best for your images right 😉
Tip 3: Animals
This is the perfect time of year to photograph animals. Especially when spring just arrived and there is still little vegetation and green on the branches. Then, you have an unblocked view to get the most of the animal in the frame without branches or leaves is in your way. Also, this time of year you can get a lot closer to the animals. Just because they pay less attention to their surroundings and more to the other sexes to form a band with. When shooting animals remember that you try to shoot them at eye-level. In this way, you keep contact with your subject and gives the viewer the idea that you are looking through the eyes of one of the other animals of that species. To do this, you have to go low sometimes. Frogs for example, they sit in a pond, to get to eye level you have to do some concessions. You then can use the reflection in the pond to give your photo an extra dimension. You can either use a macro lens or a Tele-lens to isolated your subject from the background. Personally, I like to shoot animals with my tele-lens, a 300mm f/4 which has nice bokeh.
Tip 4: Flowers and Blossom
I like to shoot flowers and blossom in an abstract way. When photographing flowers and blossom, zoom right into the heart of the subject to get as close as possible. It reveals a complete new little world and gives you very little depth of field when shooting your lens wide open. Also, try to break the rules as well, flowers look great with the sun behind them. Be aware of under-exposing if you’re looking into the sun, you make have to use your exposure compensation +1 or +2.
Finally, I wish you all happy hunting and good luck shooting your favorite subjects.