By Chad Gordon, Guest Blogger, Professional Photographer
Do you feel like you see one thing, the camera sees another? Consider the following to improve your garden photography.
- Shoot during the “Golden Hour” … For beautiful light and long shadows that give a photograph warmth and depth, its best to shoot in the “golden hours” loosely defined as two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset. There is a sweet spot for light in that time frame that can depend on the day or time of year, but generally, your images will be more dynamic in those hours because the sun is lower in the sky, casting more defined shadows. Photographing in the middle of the day often renders flat, washed out, or uninteresting results.
- Think about composition … Composition is another key to an interesting photograph. Try isolating one herb. Try selective focus… blurring out the background if you have the capability. Or isolating the plant against a clean background. You may want to remove a stray dead leaf. I pay attention to everything in the frame before clicking the shutter.
- Change perspective…. Change your sight plane. Crouch or stand on a rock or bench (carefully!). Heck, Lay on your stomach. Many people only shoot form their natural standing height because that is how we always see things. Changing the angle or sight plane can make an image much more unique and interesting.
- Slow down … That is my biggest tip. Sounds corny but experience the setting. Feel it. Take your time and walk around and look how the light touches things. I often just spend my time looking before even taking the camera out. How you feel at that moment will often be conveyed in your image. If your goal is to just document a plant or setting, which is totally fine if that is your goal, but it will feel like a document for record.
Chad is Creative Director at designRoom Creative in Cleveland. He studied photography in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has a degree in photo illustration from Ohio University. His unique infrared photography has been shown in numerous galleries.
great advice chad! thanks for sharing.
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“Slow down” – we could all use a dose of doing this in our every day lives as well, huh? In your opinion, is the golden hour better after dawn or before sunset? I can’t decide.