How do I photograph my garden and lawn?
If you are looking for a subject for your next photography venture, the answer might be lying in your backyard. Your garden or lawn is a brilliant subject for photography as it is accessible, pretty, and free. If you keep your garden healthy, you likely have a thriving landscape, which will look great on film. Whether large or small, a well-kept garden is beautiful.
However, if you are not used to photographing nature or landscapes, or if you are completely new to photography, it can be difficult to know where to start. To improve your garden photography skills, we created this expert guide. If you follow our tips, we can assure you that your photos will be stunning and will show off your garden in all its glory.
How do you photograph grass?
Photographing your lawn starts with having healthy grass blades to photograph. You must be appropriately looking after your lawn year-round to ensure that by the time you are ready to take stunning pictures of it, it is luscious and green. All the hard work you put into your grass will show in the photograph.
One of the best low-maintenance ways you can make sure your garden is ready for a photoshoot is to hire the services of Forever Green. The lawn care packages we offer will make sure you have a healthy green lawn to photograph. There are a few different ways in which you can approach photographing your grass, but the first thing you will need to think about is what medium you want to use. There are lots of different camera types available and the one you pick will depend on the outcome you are looking for.
For example, you might choose to shoot on a film camera which will give you a more grainy old-school vibe. Alternatively, you could use a high-quality digital camera that will provide you with crisp detailed pictures. If you are looking for a middle ground between these two options and are on a budget, using your phone camera can produce equally stunning pictures.
You then need to decide on the aesthetics you want to create, this will inform how you approach your subject. Once your aesthetic vision has been established, you can start thinking about the weather conditions that will best suit your idea, the kinds of highlights and shadows that will help create certain aesthetics, and what additional features from your garden you want to include to help create a certain ambiance.
Let's say you want to create a dark and mysterious aesthetic, you would be better off completing your photoshoot on a cloudy or stormy day. On the other hand, if you want to capture a light and happy scene in your garden, you should organize your photoshoot on a sunny day with direct sunlight and include flowers and foliage in your garden to realize this effect.
5 Tips to Take Great Lawn Photos
Having a beautiful garden takes a lot of work, and you want to honor the time you’ve spent sweating in the dirt. Garden photography can be more complex than most people think, so here are 5 tips to take great lawn photos:
- Choose a subject?
- Zoom in and out?
- Change the landscape of your photo?
- Different lighting?
- Take action shot?
1. Choose a subject
Photographing your lawn and the grass can get boring quickly, so you should be looking for ways to diversify your images. The easiest way to do that is to choose a subject for your photos that you can focus on. This can be something as simple as a hard-working ant in action or an interloping dandelion.
While the subject does not have to be front and center of the image, you can use it as a focal point and allow everything around it to perfectly merge and blend into one cohesive scene. Use wide angles when using a subject to allow other parts of the garden to compliment your subject. Focusing on something will guide your artistic vision. This is particularly useful if you are shooting on film and do not have unlimited photos to play with.
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2. Zoom in and out
There is so much going on in any given garden when we stop and take the time to contemplate it. Beautiful flowers, birdhouses, and the gorgeous dancing shadows that trees cast on your lawn are all things worth capturing. This is why you should vary the size of your photos to create different perspectives.
Start by taking wide or panoramic shots that capture the entire garden in all its glory. You can then downsize slightly and choose certain areas of the garden to take pictures of. Say there is a beautiful fruit-bearing tree that is currently flowering. This is an opportunity to take pictures of the whole tree in contrast with the green of your grass, with the sky, and a close-up on a single flower from the tree.
Close-up or macro photography is fascinating because it captures something mundane and makes it the sole thing that exists in the universe. As the name suggests, close-up photos are photos that focus very closely on one specific small detail of the garden. Many photographers choose to use a macro lens for this type of photography.
3. Change the landscape of your photo
Something as simple as changing the landscape of your photo can completely change the final product. The subject of your photo will dictate which landscape will work better for you. If you want to capture an all-encompassing picture of the entire garden, a horizontal landscape makes more sense. On the other hand, if you want to fully capture the personality of a fragrant lilac shrub, vertical images are a great option.
It is worth experimenting with both horizontal and vertical frames as you might be able to get unusually striking pictures using a landscape that is not conventional for the type of picture you are taking.
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4. Different lighting
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography, and you will find photographers paying more attention to the lighting of their shots than anything else. This is because poor lighting can cause your subject to become completely distorted and what you thought would be a stunning picture of your garden turns out to just be one big blur.
In your garden, you will be working with natural light, which can be both a blessing and a curse. The most beautiful lighting comes from natural sunlight, such as sunset evening light, which is often referred to as the golden hour. It provides the most perfect golden hue to your pictures which is extremely difficult to recreate.
Play around with your camera’s shutter button as the shutter speed will determine the amount of light exposure and this will help you better control the lighting in your picture. As you can see, your garden is the perfect place to learn outdoor photography!
5. Take action shots
Action shots are often forgotten about or completely disregarded when taking photos of a garden or lawn, but in reality, there are a lot of things in your garden that could warrant an action shot. To think action shots are only good in urban settings is rather reductionist!
You could photograph garden birds as they fly away from your bird feeder (flight shot) or capture a shot of a butterfly traveling across your garden. These kinds of action shots add dimension and excitement to your photos. Plus, you will feel like you work for National Geographic!