5 Tips to take Pictures in your Garden
Taking pictures in your Garden is no different from taking pictures of your favorite car, whether it’s a miniture model or the Ferrari in front of your mansion. It’s an ongoing process where we evolve only through practise in order to improve in Digital Photography 2010.
Following Yorgo’s “5 Tips to take Pictures of Cars” today and having neither the light nor the weather nor the right car nor Richard Gere to work with right now, I will endeavour to apply the same rules to just another subject.
Yesterday, I reported on the exciting discovery of the first ceps (boletus edulis).
Look at the subject from different angles
This morning, I discovered a number of bizarre formations mushrooming literally out of the grass – just before it was meant to be cut.
So – while there was still some beautiful sunshine – and a tender carpet of dainty, pink flowers shivering in the breeze, I shot out with my simple digital camera – Nikon Coolpix P90 – and got to work. No tripod… this brought me to my knees and beyond into a different world of magic alltogether for quite a while.
First, it’s a matter of discovering and then focusing on what’s of interest to you – which is not the case if you take an object – like a car – right away and photograph it.
Outside in Nature, you may be overwhelmed by the many possibilities that engulf you and all scream for interest and attention. You find all those interesting lines Nature created in sublime shapes reflecting light and beauty. So it’s a matter of choice and then concentrating on your topic and looking at the subject from different angles.
Look for interesting detail
Like on the other exercise: a defined object like a car, we look for interesting details on just anything we put attention to in our garden – the detail of a flower – as you have seen so many times on this blog – or an insect, a tree, a buttefly, a rock, a simple leaf… here I could not resist experimenting with the mushroom and caught a fascinating detail with a scintillating green fly.
For the purpose of the exercise, I used my new Copyright Action Script I set up in yesterday’s Ycademy Workshop to place a watermark and copyright over it. As you may observe: it hardly interferes even with the filigrane details of the fly, it’s really an elegant and unobtrusive way of marking and copyrighting one’s pictures.
Create focus with your camera settings
Always try to get the best photo you can, right away. Don’t count on post-editing at this stage at all – try to optimise what you have before your lens. Even with a low-end camera.
This starts when you create focus with your camera settings.
I worked with aperture and did not use a zoom on the above picture, but I went extremely close – with the effect that I got a good dose of “Mushroom Nr. 5″ that definitely attracted the fly, but that one was gone, faster than any car – duh! But obsession soon brought it back and the hunter within me got a new chance… and with almost 2 hours of Yoga in the morning I can say I got a good amount of exercise today!
Digital Photography… and especially when you take pictures in your garden… definitely keeps you fit and flexible!
In other instances, I used a zoom – also with sharp results and a blurred background.
Create focus by post-editing
Once the pictures are in your Photoshop or Lightroom, optimise them with your presets or skills.
On the picture above I wanted to create a more graphic look and fade out the background distractions to get a more architectural feeling for these rather small formations right on the ground – so I created a monochrome version and added a slight vignette. However, I designed many more versions – like the pastel version higher up – to learn how my presets behave and to develop a profound knowledge of what I can use where with what results.
Narrow Framing is obtained when getting as close-up as possible to the object as I did with the detail above and the fly.
No zoom… a large Aperture… and a very steady hand in quite some awkward positions at times, especially also to exclude my shadow and not frighten the fly. Not that I am fond of flies… really not, I’d like an Aston Martin with or without Richard Gere – however, this was my object and I focused all my attention on it, and this from all angles and sides.
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