Categories: Lifestyle

A guide to photographing plants and flowers

A blooming organic vegetable garden takes lots of time and dedication. Memorialize the various seasons by keeping a journal or image book of your progress. Here are some basic photography tips that will help you take beautiful photos that show off all the hard work that went into creating your garden landscape:

Why you should photograph your garden – Garden photography is important for many reasons. First, it helps you appreciate the wonderful plants and flowers far longer than their natural life cycle. Also, not all seasons produce the best results. You can document the state of your garden to help analyze why one spring may produce vibrant flowers while another year they are dull. Take into account the nutrition level of the soil, amount of sunlight, cloud coverage and rain. Then you can analyze whether there was anything different you could have done.

Cameras
These days smartphones have cameras that have great zoom and picture clarity. However, experiment with your phone’s camera to determine the quality. Point and shoot cameras are another great choice for amateur garden photographers. No need to speed extra money on expensive SLR models – though they produce great results, the money can be spent elsewhere in your garden.

Landscapes
Begin with taking landscape images of your garden. Snap a few photos that capture the overall theme of your space. Take special note of framing your image so you don’t cut out any interesting plants.

A basic technique in photography is the rule of thirds. Look at your viewfinder and imagine a grid split into nine parts. You want to place points of interest not directly in the center, but along the intersections of the grid. This creates a natural yet balanced photo. For example, if you have a large evergreen tree in your landscape set up your camera so it’s off to the side. Don’t fear open space, it can carry a lot of weight in an image. If you don’t feel comfortable offsetting all photos, take a few shots with your subject centered and compare the results.

Close-ups
Close-up images is where having a standalone camera comes in handy. It has a macro function that allows the camera to focus to incredible precision. For these types of images, either prop your camera on a surface or have a steady hand. If the camera wobbles the image may be distorted.

Use close-up shots to document individual plants and flower gardens. Pay special attention to leaves petals and other details. Experiment with different vantage points and use this feature to take photos of the morning dew or friendly insects.

Professional tools
If garden photography will be a longtime hobby you may want to consider investing in these tools:

  • A telephoto lens can help you isolate a flower from its surroundings.
  • Tripods work great to stabilize the camera to limit blurry images.
  • Inexpensive reflectors can shade plants and help you adjust the sunlight hitting your subject.