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I’ve gotten several compliments about how great my photos are here on my gardening blog. I appreciate the comments but many of the photos are not my own, but from commercial free sites like Pixabay. I’m wanting to learn to take better flower and garden photos and thought I would share my thoughts on how to achieve this.
As a side note, all the pictures on this particular blog are from me and my husband.
During my Senior year in high school, I had the opportunity to take a photography class during both semesters. I still remember taking the time to develop the black and white film in the dark room. That statement alone dates me, but I had a lot of fun in those classes and learned many new skills about taking photos.
After digital cameras and quality cameras on cell phones took over, I took advantage of taking more photos to practice my long forgotten photography skills. I love how I can take a bunch of photos without it costing me a dime or take much time to develop the photos.
Artistry of Photography
I like to tell people I was born an artist, or at least became an artist when I first learned how to pick up and use a pencil. I still remember the folder my parents kept of all the pictures I drew growing up. I was even a fine art student for a time in college, but life took me on a different career course.
Of course I still find time to feed my creative genes nowadays, but mainly through photography. I take my fair share of candid photos of family and friends (and my cats), but also like to add my own artistic flair to my photos. This will look different for every photographer.
Camera Type-Phone verses Digital
My husband has graciously offered to let me use his Canon camera, which takes awesome pictures. I prefer the camera on my Samsung Galaxy S6 phone. I take it everywhere I go and can easily take it out when a photo opportunity presents itself, especially when I’m out and about.
I don’t think its important if one uses a camera or a camera phone (if you disagree let me know below). I think its more important how skilled the person is in using the camera and how they take photos.
I’m sure some people would argue that one is better than the other. I know there are particular brands of cameras out there that are known for taking quality photos. Use whatever type of camera works for you.
Quantity-How Many Photos Should One Take?
Since I’m pretty new to this whole blogging world (3 months now), I recently decided I should take as many photos of my flowers and garden as possible. I have also taken photos that I find interesting when I’m out and about of various plants and flowers.
By taking a plethora of photos, I can experiment with angle, color, and other features that make a great photo. I also want to have a photo library available for my Google Plus, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and my other social media accounts.
I also like that by taking a bunch of photos, I can use different pictures of the same flower or plant but at different angles. The same picture can be used on all my social media accounts or slightly different photos of the same flower or plant.
Quality not Quantity
Just because I take 100s or 1,000s of photos does not mean they will all turn out great. I may take a bunch of photos of the same plant or area of my garden, but will only use the best ones on my blog and social media accounts.
If you’ve ever spent any time around photographers, you will learn quickly how important lighting is when taking photographs. I will only focus on outdoor photography and lighting tips.
I’m still pretty amateur when it comes to taking outdoor pictures. When I see a pretty flower I just take a few pictures with as little sun as possible and hope they come out nice.
Overcast days make the best outdoor pictures (according to my photographer husband). I’ve made the mistake of trying to take pictures of my flowers with the sun shining directly on them. This results in a very bright, glaring picture.
Taking pictures on cloudy days helps avoid pictures with glare in them. I have also been able to take quality photos in the shade, despite the sun being out. I have to be careful that the shade is not too dark or the flower or plant will be lost in the shade.
I sometimes play with different angles when taking pictures of plants and flowers. Sometimes I take a photo and that one photo is enough for me to be happy with. Other times I play around with varying angles to get the best photo I can of the flower or plant I am focusing on.
There are different ways to achieve varying angles of a flower, plant or several flowers and plants. One way is to take photos of the subject while stand up. Another way to play around with angles is to get on your knees or even your stomach.
I usually just point and shoot from wherever I am standing or happen to be walking. I need to begin experimenting with other methods to get the best angle of my flowers and plants.
I love taking close ups of flowers and plants. It might be to focus on the color, lines, texture, or shape of the particular plant I am photographing. I usually take as many photos close ups as I can of the plant until I find one I like.
Background plays an important role in creating quality photos of your garden. This is especially true if you want the focus to be on a single plant or flower. You don’t want the background of your photo too busy. This will take away the focus off your flower or plant.
There are ways to do this manually with a camera. My phone will automatically focus on the foreground or background when I get really close to a flower I want to photograph.
You may want the focus to be on the background if you are taking a picture of a huge area. My husband recently took a great photo of me in front of a field of lavender with the focus on the plants. I’ve seen some great looking photos turn out well this way too.
Flower and Garden Photos
I hope I have kept you interested in what I have had to say about improving your garden photos. This is by far my longest but most enjoyable blog to write. I have actually learned a lot of new concepts about taking pictures of my garden by writing this.
Taking more flower and garden photos on a daily basis is a goal I have. I will, of course, share them here with all of you! I know there are many more things I could say about photographing plants and flowers.
Do you have great tips and tricks on how to take better flower and garden photos? Let me know in the comments section below!