Every spring, we find time to break from documenting artwork, exhibitions, and events to step outside and capture the horticulture team’s beautiful and ever-changing gardens for Spring Blooms presented by Wild Birds Unlimited. While we are out in The Garden, we often see guests snapping photos on their phones or cameras, so we thought we should share some of our top tips for capturing your best shot this spring, no matter what kind of camera (or phone) you use.
Composition is one of the most important factors to consider when taking any photo. Photography is like a collage–you get to arrange the subject within the frame. Two elements we consider when making a composition are the rule of thirds and foreground, middle ground, and background.
- Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds means you divide your image evenly into thirds and place the subject of your photograph into one of the thirds. While considering the rule of thirds, experiment and remember to keep it playful. Take a variety of horizontal and vertical shots, or even square.
Don’t forget the crop! Cropping is a powerful tool which allows you to improve a composition and omit unwanted or distracting details.
- Foreground, Middle-ground, Background
You will be able to create beautifully layered images when you keep in mind the foreground, middle ground, and background of your photograph. What is closest to you, furthest, and somewhere in the middle? What elements do you want in focus—do you want others out of focus?
Look up, look down, look all around! Take the same photograph from different angles. You can look down for a bird’s eye view or lie down for a worm’s eye view.
The sun’s placement in the sky can dramatically change the lighting of an image. When you’re taking a photograph, think, where is the sun? Is it high, low, or behind the clouds? Golden hour, or the time right before sunrise or sunset, can create a warm glow in your photography, and Newfields is open until 8 PM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays perfect for your Golden Hour shot.
Direct sunlight can push the dynamic range of a camera’s sensor beyond its capability, but don’t let that hold you back from experimenting with direct sunlight. Harsh shadows can be a creative tool.
4. MAKE ADJUSTMENTS
No one is perfect! Don’t shy away from making slight adjustments to make your photo shine.
- On an iPhone, it can be as simple as trying the auto-adjust editing tool. This tool is not a perfect solution every time, but it can work great on some images.
- We adjust color temperature, bring back highlights, push shadows, adjust blacks, and increase contrast and saturation to many of our garden images.
We encourage you to come out to Spring Blooms presented by Wild Birds Unlimited to practice your new skills. It’s hard not to take a stunning photograph in The Garden this time of year, so we are sure you will be happy with all of your shots, but we hope this quick introduction to photography helps take your images to the next level. See you behind the lens!
Spring Blooms is presented by Wild Birds Unlimited. Lead support for the River of Bulbs is provided by Catherine M. Turner.