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Garden Photography Tips

Thursday, 3.22.18

I worked on my graphic novel retouching all day, and I decided to draw a page that I wasn’t happy with. It rained all day until 5 pm, and it seemed to sprinkle during the rest of the night. At 5:30 pm, I decide to get ready for a photography workshop about gardening and flowers, which is just in time for springtime and the Annual Spring Garden Show. I took my red lentil vegan wrap with me so I can eat it in the parking lot before I get out of my car.

  1. When surveying the scene that you would like to photograph, look to take an “Establishing Shot,” which has to do taking a “get familiar” with the area picture as well as it should make a statement. Take this photograph horizontally and vertically.
  2. We checked out the Oregon Photographer’s pictures of various colorful Japanese gardens, which have flowers in bold colors, colorful autumn leaves, a moon bridge, ponds, tea garden, and koi fish.
  3. Foggy days and overcast days are the best days for taking a great photography. Rainy days are also perfect for photographing. Use an umbrella and protective gear when photographing in the rain
  4. Use a polarizer to get a reflection.
  5. Change your perspective. Climb up high and shoot down at the subject. Or, lay down low on the ground to shoot high at a particular subject. Also, try different angles.
  6. Look for a leading line, which leads the eyes along a line or path toward something ahead, such as stone pathway, decorative fence, patterned design on the ground, themed trails and corridors. Colorful flowers lead eyes along a path or trail.
  7. Create a mystery in your photographs by suggesting something is behind a particular scene in order to make viewers wonder about the scene to want to know more.
  8. Layering to create depth involves using overlapping from foreground to background. The subject in the foreground is usually bold, while the background scene is usually muted and soft in contrast. Remember to focus on the foreground for sharpness.
  9. Use warm colors with strong visual weight to anchor the foreground.
  10. Let the colors create the leading line. The direction of the line causes compositional tension. Consider photographing the leading line from left to right and right to left to create a different perspective. It looks inversed from the other.
  11. The Rule of Third involves placing the subject in the third section.
  12. Colorful reflections in the water create an artistic effect.
  13. The best natural light usually is during early in the morning, around 8:30 am, as well as before sunrise and “golden hour.” So, schedule your photo shoots around certain times.
  14. Backlighting shots, spotlights, and colorful lights at nights can also be used to create artistic effects. Such lights are everywhere during the holidays, events, and special occasions.
  15. The most photogenic models tend to be animals, whether wildlife, pets, birds, or even stuffed animals because they are natural, naturally cute, and decorative. Birds décor—real birds or statues—enhances the garden.
  16. Filters for close-ups, zoom lens, and Canon 500D are also used for creating artistic effects.
  17. Use a polarizer when photographing koi fish.
  18. Notice the art sculptures in gardens, such as statues, fountains, birdbaths, and other structures.
  19. Spray colorful fruit with water before photographing in order to create a dewy effect.
  20. If you are at a minimalistic garden scene, focus on the details, such as certain textures, shapes, and designs.
  21. Learn from other cultures.

Macro Photography is about getting up-close and personal with your subject, almost to an intimate level. Use f2.8 to f4 for shallow depth of field. Get very close on small subjects, such as frog, lizard, snail, slug, bee, insect, lady bug, grasshopper, ant, and other tiny subjects.

  1. Also consider using radial lines, spiral lines, C-curve, S-curve, and focusing on the land or sky to create artistic effects.
  2. Tilt lens 10 to 15 degrees.
  3. Be aware of the focal plane when shooting macro photography.
  4. Shoot focal plane to create an artistic photograph.
  5. Use manual focus for macro photography. I also recommend using manual focus for nighttime photography.
  6. Consider getting very close on a flower to take a photograph. Focus on its center details.
  7. 70 to 120mm and 500D close-up filter for macro photography. You can also use a wide angle lens in macro photography.
  8. Pay close attention to the colors in a scene, and notice warmth, coolness, harmonious colors, mixture of colors, and uniformity of a color. When there is a uniformity of one color, the focus on form.
  9. Pay close attention to the background in order to look for distractions.
  10. Pan camera for a swishy abstract effect. Create multiple exposures.
  11. Cramming or shoot-through creates a soft-focus effect to hide a distraction in the background.
  12. Use household items and do your own art.

For more information, you can check out the photographer’s work at David M. Cobb Photography and Photo Cascadia

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