Before the arrival of digital cameras we were limited in the number of photos we could take by the cost of film and processing. Now we take take as many pictures as we like, but unless we have learned some basic techniques the results are often disappointing. Carole Drake has been? photographing and writing about gardens since 2004 and recently won a prize in the Garden Photographer of the Year competition so is an expert guide. Pick up some tips from her article which I found on the Gardening Know How website.
Have you ever got your camera out to take a photograph of your garden and been disappointed with the results? Whether you?re using your phone, a compact camera or a fancy bells and whistles digital SLR there are a few simple tips that can help you make a record of your garden, or take an atmospheric picture of it in all its glory.
Light ? the word photography means drawing with light, an amalgam of the Greek words, photos (light) and graphein (to draw). Without light there is no photographic image. But there can be too much light, or the wrong sort of light and this is where many amateurs fall at the first hurdle. A bright summer?s day with not a single cloud in the sky is not the ideal time to get your camera out, particularly not in the middle of the day when the sun is directly over head acting like a powerful naked light bulb more suited to interrogating a suspect than revealing the subtle beauty of plants. Strong shadows create random dark shapes across the image, whilst other areas can be blindingly bright looking ?blown out?, appearing as areas of white with no detail in them. The human eye is much more able to deal with extreme contrasts than a camera is. Shooting in these conditions produces harsh, contrasty images where either the darks or lights are properly exposed, never both.
Dawn and dusk are the best times of day to photograph outside, when the low sun spreads soft rays across your garden shining light through leaves and flowers, illuminating them like a stained glass window. Working with early morning or evening sun can be thrilling, especially using trees or plants to filter it.
Windy Hall, Windermere, Cumbria, EnglandHere I used trees and foliage as a screen or filter so I could shoot directly into the sunlight to catch a great light effect. This was at dawn so the sun was coming up over the hill and raking down through the trees and across the small pond. Luckily there was also a mist at the time which further softened the sunlight making it possible to shoot without it blasting the camera with too fierce a light. The sun was moving fast so I took a lot of shots very quickly and then this wonderful effect was gone.
See more at Gardening Know How