Spring is in the air! After being cooped up all winter hiding from the cold weather, many of us are eager to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh spring air and exercise our cameras. Take advantage of all the spring sights by practicing some new photography skills.
Here are just a few to get you started:
How To Use Selective Focus
It is easy enough to open up your f-stop, switch on aperture priority, and start getting adequately exposed shots with dreamy bokeh in the background. But I encourage you to set the standard for yourself just a touch higher and delve into the world of manual mode if you haven’t already. Photographing spring flowers, like the cherry blossoms in the photo below, can be a great way to practice these essential skills.
When considering your composition, try to visually pinpoint what parts of the photo you want to be in focus and which you don’t. Once you have that envisioned, start thinking about which aperture you’ll need to get it as close to perfect as possible. Next, work out your ISO and shutter speed, using trial and error. Check your histogram in between each test shot and use the magnifier tool to zoom into the preview image and make sure the depth of field is on target.
For many, spring marks a time of renewal. As photographers, we can seize the opportunity to renew and inspire our own creativity. So rather than just take photos of things as we see them, make the effort to plan out some photoshoots. Go all out. Brainstorm until you have a vision, create a moodboard, storyboard some ideas for your photo, get some props, and think critically about all the little details that would normally go unnoticed. For an added challenge, ask yourself how you caincorporatete elements of spring to help give viewers a sense of time and season.
Plan out every last detail and remember to get creative with it!
How To Use Texture
Nature is full of all kinds of interesting textures–most of which photograph remarkably well. Flowers are no exception. When the spring flowers begin popping up around you, look for particularly interesting ones that have a notable texture. Once you’ve found one, you have the perfect subject. Explore different ways to photograph the flower so the texture is front and center of the photograph.
Once you’ve found one, you have the perfect subject. Explore different ways to photograph the flower so the texture is front and center of the photograph. Experiment with different lighting to see discover how a simple change in light intensity affects the appearance of the textures. Take your time to really explore the process.
Pay Attention To The Natural Environment
One last thing to take note of when you’re out there shooting all the beautiful spring flowers. The colors. Know who’s a master of color theory? Mother nature. Seriously. Make a conscious effort to take note of all the naturally occurring color palettes. Take a quick snapshot with your phone so you remember the colors and incorporate them into future shoots. I use a free Adobe app, called Capture, which lets me snap a photo of anything. It then
I use a free Adobe app, called Capture, which lets me snap a photo of anything. It then analyzes the photo and outputs the hex codes of the colors found in the photo. These color palettes are then saved to my Adobe library where I can easily access them later. Pretty cool!
Do you use a similar app? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!