How I Did Nature Photography
On a very hot day yesterday, I walked around the North Carolina Arboretum, camera in hand snapping photos of amazingly beautiful flowers, plants and butterflies. I have been working to improve my photography skills this past year and I'll share a couple of hints with you.
I am not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination. My husband is an excellent photographer, however, and shares tips with me. Plus, just from doing four years of blogging with my little camera, I have picked up a few tried and true things I think about when doing photography.
First off, I look for interesting features that catch the eye-things like the water dancing upward in this water fountain. I shot this picture with the sun behind me which made for a clearer picture. Having people in the background gives some scale and interest to the photo as well.
Notice how this picture of the same water fountain looks different. The dancing water is not as crisp because the sun is in front of me. There is more of a shadowy effect which brings out the swirls in the water. I wanted to highlight the mountains in this pic, but the swirls in the water seem to stand out more. For me, photography is still often trial and error.
I also like to zoom in on points of interest. Here, I am zooming in on the beautiful butterfly while making sure leave greenery and flowers around the butterfly for framing. Framing the main point of the picture is important.
I also try to follow the rule of thirds. My main focus in this picture is the tree trunk filled with lichens. I centered on the tree trunk and tried to have one third green on either side.
Depending on what you are trying to capture in your photo the rule of thirds may not work. In this photo I wanted to highlight the kinked tree trunk as well as the dramatic drape of the pines.
This picture shows a variety of heights which is interesting. I decided to zoom in on the pink flower you see in the upper right. Look at the next picture to see the zoom effect.
Wow, you can really see the intricate details of the petals can't you?! I also got a little bit of bokeh which is always exciting for me. Bokeh is when the background of a picture is blurry with the main focus of the picture being crystal clear. I do not use a camera that has changeable lens like my husband's. My camera is digital-a Sony Cyber Shot. It does have different settings I can use by turning the setting dial which is a nice feature for a little camera. I was using "Superior Auto" for these pictures.
These plants reminded me of Florida. The angle I shot at shows one behind the other giving a little depth to the picture.
This is an example of a not so good picture. I love the color of these flowers but, unfortunately, the wood stick on the left and the metal something (not sure what it is) on the right take away from the pretty flowers. Oh well. Not framed well.
Good bokeh here focusing on the bumblebee on the pink flowers.
And, finally, finding a cluster of objects such as these three flower containers together provides an interesting picture with the variety of colors and foliage!
Hot as it was, I enjoyed walking around the arboretum and looking at nature through my camera lens. I hope you enjoyed walking with me and, perhaps, I gave you a helpful hint or two about taking pictures. If you already knew all of this, I hope you enjoyed the photos! Do you like taking nature pictures? Hope you'll leave me a comment. I love hearing from my readers.
*All photography in this post by Debbie Ross
Until Next Time,