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Improve your photography this Spring

It’s spring in the Genesee Valley – finally! So it’s time to dust off your camera and get out and do some spring photography.

Usually, you don’t want to have any flare in your images, but adding a sun flare intentionally can add a nice mood to your image. It can help make it feel light, airy and bright – like spring. To get this “flare”, shoot into the sun, keeping off to one side or the other. If you can control your aperture, set it above f/11, otherwise set your camera to the “landscape” mode.

Get closer and pick one subject. One of the most common beginner mistakes is putting too much stuff into the image. Look at the edges of the image – is there anything that’s distracting or not necessary for the shot? If so, get closer and crop it out in camera. Review again. Is there a clear subject now?

Watch the background. Which direction you point your camera, and the background you choose for your subject can make or break your image. There are four things that will draw the viewer’s attention. These are things you do NOT want in the background:

  • Overly bright spots or areas.

  • Brightly colored objects.

  • High contrast.

  • Things which are in sharp focus.

Once you find an interesting subject, work the scene a little. Take a few shots, try different angles and camera settings. You may need to actually move your feet too! So look at that background and if it’s not adding anything to your image, it may be taking away from the subject.

Look for the light. Light is everything in photography! Start putting light first on your list of most important things to look for when you’re shooting. Think about light as THE subject and make sure it not only works with the subject but flatters it and tells the story you want to tell. If you want more drama in your images – include more shadows. If you want a soft delicate feeling in your image, choose soft light. Look for side lighting for enhancing the texture in your scene, or backlighting to make a silhouette or highlight the subject. Just finding a subject with good texture isn’t enough to have it translate into a good photograph. The lighting must be right. So to enhance the texture of a rough subject, always look for light coming across the subject from the side, just skipping across the surface.

Change your perspective and literally get down on the ground. By choosing a camera angle that is different from how most people see the world, which is from their eye level, your images will start to stand out from the crowd. The average person with a cell phone doesn’t crawl around on the ground to get photos. So if you’re willing to do that which is a bit uncomfortable, you can take your photography up a notch above those folks.

My final tip for you for better spring photography is simple. Skip sleep and get out and shoot at the edges of the day at sunrise and sunset. But don’t stop there, keep shooting into Blue Hour and on into the night as well! This is yet another way to set yourself apart from the masses. Most people won’t go the extra mile or do what’s uncomfortable or hard. So if you’re willing to get out of your nice warm bed to shoot the sunrise, or pack a chair and thermos of hot chocolate to shoot star trails at night – you’ll automatically level up!

Now it’s your turn to get out and put these spring photography tips into practice. What are you waiting for? Get going!


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