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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today's Photo(s): April 25th, 2013

Virginia Bluebells, Duke Gardens, April 25th, 2013
Also - some tips for Spring flower photography...

Azalea Blooms, Duke gardens
This time of year, its easy to get caught up on all the eye candy available on all the flowering plants. In keeping with the spirit of making a photo when and where I can, I trekked on over to Duke gardens during a lunch walk today.

Noonday Sun...and pretty lousy lighting
The lighting for lunchtime, at anytime of year at this latitude, can be pretty uninteresting. Previously we talked about using light modifiers and shooting at Dawn and Dusk to get better light. On my walkabout today, the easiest tool I had at my disposal was to mostly stick to the shadows, and keep an eye out for a different point of view, and see what I could create in about 20 mins time.

Shot in full sunlight
The photo above was made in full sunlight, but to keep it from going flat and harsh, I moved to a 90 degree angle to the sun, and positioned myself so the bloom was against a much darker background.

I tried a similar tactic to the photo below, opting to get a bit dramatic by letting the sunlight contrast with the darker woodland behind:

Using the midday sun to best advantage without and modifiers
Another tactic, to use in conjunction with either sticking to the shade, or looking out for dramatic light in an otherwise boring time of day, is to radically change your point of view:

Looking down, I spied a trio of blooms near a pinecone...
Same exact trio of blooms as the photo above, the pinecone is just in the frame to the right
By lying on the ground, I was able to get an intimate POV. You can use something as a ground-cloth
to keep clean, like a towel, newspaper, or just brush yourself off like I did.

Often, color will grab our attention when out and about, and that's what we may first focus on, as in this shot above. But just like with the trio of blooms earlier, getting a bit closer and cropping out extraneous detail will help make a stronger photo:
I also used myself to cast a shadow over the blooms for more even light.
Hey, I had a light modifier with me all along!
Also, remember to look for things other than pretty flowers to photograph this time of year, like patterns...
More patterns: Fern, and Oak frond
Cover photo again, shot in the open shade with some dappled sunlight behind
I included it twice, just 'cause I really liked it. The cool and warm colors blend really well, I think
So, those are a few more tips I hope you can use in your spring photography. And while these photos today are nothing to write home about, they're not a bad bit of effort for 20 minutes of walking around.
I hope these at least inspire you to pick up your camera, take advantage of this season, and make some memorable photographs.

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