Get Out There and Photograph Spring – Part IIPosted: May 6, 2010
Get Out and Photograph Spring – Part II
My last post was about finding your Spring location and having fun photographing the life in your area.
Today, I will talk about photographing Spring but I will also help you focus on the various techniques I used while photographing Antelope Valley. I had a comment from another photographer stating that to learn about photography it is good to use your backyard, otherwise you lose aspect of the technical side of photography because the distraction of the location takes over and it will be harder to learn the craft. Ok, sounds good to me but that is not what I’m talking about in these articles…this is about experiencing Spring and while you are experiencing it, “Photograph It”. Working in my studio and office takes about 95% of my photography time…Unless you are a nature photographer, you’re probably in the same boat as me, so with that said, “GET OUT THERE AND PHOTOGRAPH SPRING”, :0) I guarantee you will feel awesome when you’re done!
To give you all a quick overview about the day….my husband and I always go the Antelope Valley in Southern California during the Spring so I can photograph. While I photograph, Kevin, my husband has fun with his binoculars and finds me great places to photograph! We are a perfect team… If you want to read the first part of this article I have the link at top of the page or click on…enjoy!
So let’s get started…
This shot was done with an ISO of 100, Shutter Speed 1/1600, and F-Stop of 2.8. I did this so I could focus just on the poppy on the right side of the pic. I wanted the other areas of the photo blurred. I used my tripod, use yours; if you don’t have one check out my next article in a couple of weeks, I’m going to talk about equipment.
Figure 1 (F2.8 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/1600)
Kevin found a great patch of amazing bluish purple flowers within the poppy field. To enhance this patch, I kept my f-stop at 2.8, ISO 100, at a shutter speed of 1/2500, yep I used my tripod. At a shutter speed of 1/2500 you may say, “Why use the tripod?” First reason, once you have the shot you want, it’s locked and ready to go on the tripod and my second reason is because of the windy environment in Antelope Valley. I want my area in focus sharp…the tripod will help me do this.
Figure 2 (F2.8 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/2500)
The next shot I decide to focus on is right below the background mountains. I used my tripod at an f-stop of 2.8, ISO 100, 1/2500 shutter speed. Almost all of the time I use the manual mode. The more you work on manual the easier it will be for you. I’m a control freak, what can I say! Now, I like my shots with short depth-of-field, but if I want the shot to be all in focus I use an f-stop of 22.
Figure 3 (F2.8 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/2500)
Let’s talk a bit about depth-of-field and distractions…Depth-of-field is important when it comes to macro photography. As you get closer to the subject the less depth-of-field you will have. It’s not a problem when you use a tripod but I think of this more as a visual aspect. Remember, when you have a lot of distractions to the subject you will lose the punch of the macro shot. The distraction in figure 4 is the purple behind the bud but what’s kind of cool about this shot is that the bud looks like it’s sitting on the yellow flower. Of course this is my opinion…all I’m saying is pay attention to your foreground and background.
Figure 4 (F2.8 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/1000)
My next example in figure 5 is the same bud but the camera is in a different position. Just had to show you what a small change in a position can do for the shot…so play with your camera… move it around.
Figure 5 ( F10 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/60)
Figure 6 & 7 give you the same type of examples. Just by moving your camera you get a whole different feel to the subject.
Figure 6 (F5.6 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/320)
Shot with my tripod.
Figure 7 (F3.5 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/320)
Shot with my camera and a homemade beanbag – Plastic bag with rice in it. 😉
Yes, I was enjoying the wild poppy fields but also like to focus on other areas of the field. Again, my husband found this amazing area of these beautiful white flowers. I was so excited!!! If any of you know what they are called, please let me know…
Figure 8 (F9 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/250)
Sometimes I’m so wrapped up in the colors of Spring I forget about the potential of Black & White pictures. I decided for this shot to get under the flower, I used my homemade beanbag and went for it! The color shot is ok, but I really like the black and white…Spring black & whites can be fun too!
Figure 9 (F3.2 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/3200)
Figure 10 (F3.2 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/3200) Photoshop B&W
As you continue to photograph your favorite spots in Spring, you will end up with a favorite subject to photograph. Mine is this yellow poppy. Most of the poppies are orange, some have an orangey coloration, but the yellow poppies are few. We only know of a couple of places that have these yellow poppies, so it’s a must to go back to these areas each year. I will end this article with my yellow poppy and hope that I have influenced you all to Get Out There & Photograph Spring!
Figure 11 (F4.0 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed 1/640)
Always feel free to comment or send links to your Spring shots!
All of these photographs are available in SJP’s archives.