Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring in Bloom: Wildflower Photography by Richmond Camera
May is the perfect time for taking pictures of wildflowers and nature in full bloom. The rains of April have quenched the lands and helped create the beauty you now wish to capture.

Evaluate the Angles:
Don’t rush to shoot the first pretty flower that strikes your fancy. Study it from a variety of angles and evaluate your options looking through your lens. Move about, experiment with top shots, side views, low points and off-center options. The beauty of wildflowers is multifaceted, and your location and vantage point can illustrate those variances.

Clue in on Contrasts:
Look for contrasts in color and texture when surveying your wildflower patch. For example, see if you can incorporate both the bright purple blooms with a nearby yellow bud, or include a smooth petal with a textured leaf. You may need to experiment with angles and positioning to include contrast but the end result will be well worth the effort!

Don’t Overdo It:
When presented with a large field of flowers, it’s tempting to shoot a broad image to try to encompass the entire area but these images often fall short of showing the appropriate scale. Feel free to take a few in this manner but then start focusing on a key flower or bloom and experiment with your depth of field to see if you can also include part of the vast floral background.

Wind and Light:
Some flowers need the warmth of the sun to open, so consider shooting in the morning hours. Wind can also be an obstacle in getting great wildflower photos, so the mornings are often better as wind tends to pick up later in the day. If bright sunlight or reflections are becoming an issue, consider using a skylight or UV filter to combat the harshness of the sun.

Watch it on the Roadside:
Our nation’s highways are bringing us some of the most fantastic wildflower eye candy this season. For example, in Texas, IH-10 seems to be paved with bluebonnets for miles on end. These attractions lure countless admirers to pull over to take photographs, but please take extra care when doing this. Survey your area to find a safe spot to park and make sure you’re shooting far enough away from traffic so as not to be a distraction or cause an accident.

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