After a long winter of bare trees and monochrome landscapes, the cornucopia of colors that erupts in spring is visually overwhelming. We easily can start snapping away haphazardly at anything and everything in a quest to take in all the vivid hues. Here are some tips to consider that will help you gain focus and produce stunning photos that take full advantage of what nature serves up this spring.
Go Full Tilt
1 Having everything perfectly straight and parallel can be perfectly boring. Look for scenes where you can have dramatic angles in the shot. This hillside is ideal. The horizon line created by the hill adds a dynamic quality to the photograph. A note of caution: Don’t just tilt the camera to create angles. It seldom looks like anything but a mistake.
Eliminate The Horizon
2 You don’t have to be completely literal all the time when you shoot. Try eliminating the horizon to create a slightly abstract look. Here, the sense of a limitless carpet of yellow flowers is accentuated because there’s no horizon. Try this technique with longer focal lengths that compress the perspective. It’s not right for every shot, but it’s perfect for these yellow black-eyed Susans.
Use Dramatic Weather
3 The ominous dark gray of an impending storm can set off a field of wildflowers like nothing else. Watch your exposure so you don’t blow out the scene. Your camera’s meter can be fooled in these conditions, so keep an eye on the histogram and bracket if you can. If the sky is really good, use a wider-angle lens to get it all in the frame. Too many photographers are so focused on the flowers that the wild sky gets cropped out of what would have been a special photo.
Close-Up Quick Tips From George Lepp
Put Yourself In The Flower
4 You can create a wild and surreal look with a wide-angle macro technique. I take a wide-angle lens, usually a 17-40mm or 16-35mm, and place a small extension tube behind it. The extension tube needs to be in the 8-12mm range; anything longer and the wide-angle lens won’t focus on anything. By stopping the lens down to