One of the silver linings to the rains we’ve endured is phenomenal nature photo opportunities all around us. This spring and summer will be a wonderful time to get out and capture nature’s beauty. Heavy rains can bring tall bright green grasses, vibrant and plentiful flower fields and extensive healthy new growth on trees. Here are some tips to help your nature captures really tell the story.
Full new growth on trees can provide a striking backdrop for silloetted branches. Position yourself so the leaves are lit from behind and then adjust your camera for the brightness of the leaves. You can do this by pointing the little square in the viewfinder at the leaves, pushing the shutter half way down and then while holding it down, reposition the camera for the scene you want. On most cameras this locks in the brightness (exposure) settings for the leaves. Likewise, high flowers such as these sunflowers can be backlit by the sun for a bright and uplifting feeling.
Mixing textures, such as soft leaves, grasses or blooming trees with the roughness of bark, man made structures or natural hardscape can further accentuate the softness of the new growth. Include scenes with interesting shadows on a green grass field to add depth and intrique.
If you’re shooting flowers up close you’ll get the best detail in soft light such as morning or late afternoon or on slightly overcast days. Keep in mind that what looks like a lot of flowers to your eye, may not appear that way in a two dimensional photo. You can always get low and close to the flowers you do have to fill a good percentage of the frame with color. That will give the feeling of flowers everywhere.