I've never paid much attention to photography. I've been a point and shoot kind of gal for many years. Hubby has a real interest in photography and when he starts talking about buttons and gadgets and widgets my brain takes a holiday. All that came to an end this year when I ventured into blogging. At first I just did my usual point and shoot and attached them to posts but quickly I became envious of all the other beautiful photos I saw on other blogs. I wanted pretty pictures too! So I've begun working on my photography skills.
In the spring I started snapping photos of emerging plants. The photo below sort of 'does the job' but it's not exactly interesting or nice to look at. Knowing a little more now than I did 8 months ago I'd say I need to be more careful about where I stand when taking pictures as my shadow wants to eclipse these emerging tulip bulbs.
Lighting is a major issue with photography I've learned. Morning light seems to be the best for taking pictures of plants. Too bad I'm not a morning person. If I can help it I won't leave the house until at least 10am. That means my garden photos have that tone of full sunshine. Otherwise known as 'washed out'. The flowers in the photo below look white but the reality is they are pink. The strong afternoon sun bleached out all colour from the picture.
In order to avoid getting up early and still have decent photos I have learned to use shadows to my benefit. Eventually I got a nice photo of these flowers.
|See - Pink!|
The drops of rain on this daylily just add to the charm of this picture. It makes it look like I did this for effect instead of realizing the sheer laziness of me not wanting to rise at dawn for the perfect photo.
Another skill I'm getting better at it is getting up close and personal with the plants. Many flowers look insignificant when seen from a distance but are wondrous to behold when seen with a macro lense. The flower head of a verbena is made up of clusters of tiny flowers but in the photo below it's hard to tell their actual size. Not great if you're trying to identify the flower but incredibly interesting to see all the detail in each tiny flower head.
Another technique I learned, via hubby, is that when you get up close to an image you can 'blow out' the background. In the photo below the focus is on the thistle and the field behind it becomes unfocussed and blurry. It creates a background that is soft and isn't distracting from the image of the flower.
Blowing out the background isn't as simple as I'd like though. It's easier to do this with hubbies expensive camera than my cheap one. Knowing the technical skills helps but sometimes a good camera is really what you need. For instance, my camera hates shooting the colour red.
This weigela should be a bold bright red and instead they look super shiny pink in my photos. As many times as I tried to photograph them, no matter the light, they just wouldn't come out right.
While I have figured out ways to shoot up close I still need work on photographing large landscape shots. In the flower border above I couldn't seem to find a focus and this shot seems a bit odd to me. Something to work on in the coming year.
Another trick I discovered that I like a lot is shooting up and using the sky as my background.
Blue seems to go with everything and you discover some interesting sides of a plant this way.
Every month I put together a bouquet for the Garden Bouquet meme at Ramblings from a Desert Garden. I love trying to find flowers in my yard and put them together in a pretty way. Along the way I've also had to figure out how to photograph these bouquets.
I discovered the worn wood of the picnic table makes a nice backdrop to a freshly picked bouquet.
But I need to pay attention to what's lurking in the background! Can you see our woodpile below?
I'm also learning to appreciate accidents. I was trying hard to capture a photo of this ladybug in the dying light of an evening and my flash kept going off. Frustrated I kept changing the angle and then manually turned off the flash. I got a surprise though when I downloaded the photos. The flash image was much more enticing than the ones without.
Fall brought with it many seedheads and spent flowers. If you look close with your camera there's still plenty to see though.
And even though this is a garden blog, there doesn't always need to be a flower in the photo. Sometimes I just need to have some fun.