Tips and tricks to photographing spring
Take exceptional springtime photos.
Spring has arrived, and with it, a new quality of light, incredible wildlife and an abundance of activity.
Don't miss the magic that misty mornings, sporadic rainfall, and long sun-soaked days will bring. Here’s our guide to photographing spring in all its wonder.
Capture the outdoors.
After months of staying indoors and avoiding the cold, now is the perfect time to get outside. Wildlife are starting to emerge—migrant birds, bumblebees, frogs, lizards, baby ducklings and butterflies—so head to known animal watching spots. But don't limit yourself to nature; simply start by getting out and experiencing the world. Take photos on the street, in your backyard or during your morning commute. Look up what springtime celebrations or festivals are happening in your area and go photograph the action. Attitude and an open mind can offer a new angle on your everyday moments.
Rise early, stay out late.
Days are getting longer which means more sunlight hours. Plan to get out at dusk, dawn, and anywhere between. Misty mornings provide a beautiful reflective backdrop to add interest and mystique to your landscape images. Notice how the light changes colors as the day goes on, and at sunrise, when the air is cleaner, head out to capture the end of the day. The level of detail you’ll be able to achieve will be far better than during the daytime.
The warmer weather means more socialising outdoors. You’ll no doubt be tempted to take photos of the people around you with the light being so soft and bright. The most flattering way to shoot your subjects in spring is when the sun is lighting them from one side but is still slightly behind them. This will help you avoid heavily back-lit scenes due to the sun being low in the sky. If that doesn’t work, take them over to a more shaded area.
Lighting is key.
It pays to keep in mind the effect of the low sun in the sky at springtime. For example, a springtime scene that appears divinely lit to the human eye, can easily be blown-out or overexposed as soon as your camera tries to capture it. Play with different angles, move around and avoid shooting in the direction of the sun if this causes the vibrancy and level of detail to disappear.
Focus in on a subject.
One way to combat the bright light, is to focus in—right in—on a subject, so that you are capturing just a fragment of the scene. For example, instead of photographing a tree, or branch of cherry blossom, zoom in on a single cherry blossom bloom and photograph that. If you get low, zoom-in and simplify the surrounds by applying a low depth of field. You will likely end up with a more visually captivating image and at the same time have eliminated any issues with overexposure.
Flowers are in bloom.
Seasons come and go, and to avoid missing the simple and deeply moving beauty of spring flowers in bloom, make sure you get down and get close to shoot flowers. Try zooming in on one flowerhead, and if going for a mid-range shot, check for foreground, midground and background to get a multidimensional image.
Photographing kids at play.
Spring is a beautiful time to capture kids at play. Get down low and take photos of them glancing at the water birds, feeding bunny rabbits or being immersed in outdoor surroundings. Or, photograph them picking daffodils, painting Easter eggs, or let them help you in the garden and capture them getting all a-muck with you.
Go to market places.
Along with fresh flowers, fresh produce will be on display at its finest. This is the perfect time to venture out to local market places to capture the hustle and bustle, bright colours and interesting arrangements of fresh produce and local wares. Aim to capture each view from different zooms—one close-up detailed shot, one further out, one mid and one long shot etc., to help you to see which are working best at capturing the scene or subject and to give you plenty of variety to work with.
Be ready to capture extreme weather.
Most of us prefer to stay indoors as soon as the sky clouds over, but in spring phenomenal weather moments can pass by in a flash. Follow weekly weather predictions and take note of places you’d like to photograph in mist, rain and the like. An early morning mist can transform the most mundane landscapes into an other-worldly place. A massive downpour of rain, or a strong wind will provide your photos with emotive qualities, a sense of motion and unique light conditions. Storm clouds coupled with emerging light spotlighting adds incredible drama to landscape photos.