With the warm weather and sunshine coaxing you out of your home and encouraging you to spend your days exploring and enjoying the great outdoors, there is no better time than the spring to grab your camera gear and head out to take some gorgeous photos of all of the plants coming back to life and the wildlife coming out of hiding. From sprawling landscapes filled with green trees to macro shots of flowers, there are plenty of opportunities to grab unforgettable shots that you can frame and hang around your house or even sell to the public. And with expert knowledge of Photoshop and its many tools, you can take your photos to a whole new level of amazing.
If you are new to springtime photography or you have been enjoying this craft for years but want to use your skills to take some new and inspiring photos, below are a few tips that will help you to get started.
The Necessary Gear
In order to fully capture all the elements that spring has to offer, you need to have the right photography gear available. And even if you do not have the budget yet to purchase everything that you need, from lenses to a sturdy tripod and filters, you may be able to rent this equipment for a few days at an affordable rate.
Begin by bringing along a zoom lens of at least 300mm or more. This will allow you to snap photos of some of nature’s most beautiful springtime wildlife, from bears coming out of hibernation to squirrels high up on tree trunks and birds singing among the branches as they build their nests and prepare for their offspring.
A macro lens is also a handy tool when it comes to spring photography because it will you give you the clear focus you need to capture the tiniest details, from dew drops on newly formed leaves to the soft pink petals of a cherry blossom tree. A lens shade is yet another handy tool to have on hand, especially for macro shots, because it will help you cut out unwanted glare.
A neutral density filter will help you set the right exposure for each shot. An infrared filter, on the other hand, will allow you to have even more creativity as you work on transforming all of the greenery in your photos to crisp white or other shades of the spectrum during the editing process.
Photograph the New Buds of Spring
It should come as no surprise that the new buds of spring are one of the most highly sought after subjects for photographers who enjoy the natural world and pursue opportunities to capture its beauty. To be certain every flower or bud will be bright and three-dimensional, rather than flat and dull, in every shot you take, make sure that they are backlit.
Getting in close to a flower, a new plant sprouting from the ground, or a pale green leaf bursting from a tree branch is a great way to transform an otherwise mundane photograph into one that looks like a piece of modern art. The closer you can get and the more detail you can capture, the less your photo will appear like so many other stock spring images and the more artistic and unique it will feel. And if there are insects in your vicinity, taking photos of them at work is yet another great way to put your macro lens to work for you.
Head Out During Sunrise or Sunset
The days become longer during the spring, which means you have even more time to play with when taking photos outdoors, making it the perfect opportunity to learn more about landscape photography and how to capture the best images of open fields, forests, coastlines, mountains, and more. But sunrise and sunset are still optimal times during which you can get the best images, thanks to the soft lighting from the sun and the fact that wildlife tends to be very active during these hours. Just keep in mind that wildlife can be tricky to photograph because they move quickly and tend to avoid humans. Honing your skills in wildlife photography will teach you how to maintain your distance and how to use your zoom lens to its fullest potential to grab the best shots that need very little editing later on.
If there is a mountain you can hike up in the early morning hours, take advantage of this opportunity, as you will not only find plenty of great subjects to photograph on your way up, but you may also find a bowl of fog in the valleys below you as you stand high above them. These can make for truly incredible photographs, especially if you use a tripod and polarizer to ensure a stable shot despite needing a long exposure time.
Capture Colorful Landscapes
Landscape shots really come to life in the spring, but framing them can bring them to a whole new dimension. Pop a polarizing filter onto your camera’s lens in order to ensure every color in the vast landscape you are about to photograph will really pop against a vivid blue sky. A wide angle lens, on the other hand, will allow you to capture both the foreground as well as the land in the distance. And if you can find any natural elements, such as tree branches or even the flowers on a tree, to frame these shots, they can add an additional creative component to make your photos unique and more appealing.
Take Advantage of April Showers
Springtime showers will saturate the land and make colors even more vibrant. But the time after a rainstorm has passed is also highly valued by photographers because it creates plenty of opportunities for capturing striking images of reflections in bodies of water, such as puddles. Also look for small raindrops on leaves and flower petals, as well as wet trails and roads. If you are really lucky, you may even head out when a rainbow has formed. And if there are waterfalls nearby, this would be the best time to get photos of the water flowing forcefully and cascading over rocks.
The key to getting the best colors after a rainstorm is the use of a polarizing filter. A neutral density filter can also be utilized in order to cut down on any glare you are trying to avoid.
Set Up Outdoor Portrait Sessions
The spring season is a great time for taking portraits in the great outdoors. Whether you have a client, family member, or friend who just got engaged, will get married in the spring, or has a child who is celebrating a birthday, the light for outdoor portraits is best a couple of hours before sunset. This is when it will be warm and produce the most natural skin tones. Off-camera flash, combined with white balance cards and reflectors, will ensure every image is perfect. If you are new to portrait photography, though, consider taking a course on the subject to prepare you for both studio and outdoor photo shoots.
If you are a beginner when it comes to digital photography, you can start by reading this blog post filled with helpful tips. Once you are ready, you should also invest your time in learning from professionals so you can get the very best nature photos, including stunning landscapes and captivating macro shots, as well as awe-inspiring wildlife photos. With your gear in hand and the knowledge in your mind to see the perfect picture first with your eyes and then with your lens, you can take every opportunity throughout the spring to put your photography skills to the test and produce some of the most enchanting images of this beautiful season.