It’s that wonderful tween season, you know the one, it is between the brown season and struggle to get the shot between the tourists season. Spring is Macro season, yes it is also great for other forms of photography as well but it is outstanding for those macro shots that so many people love. There is no other season of the year when you will find such a large variety of young plants and flowers to choose from. One key thing to remember here is that this is also a very fleeting season for so many varieties, some seem to literally last about a week (slight exaggeration but you know what I mean). You certainly can extend your shooting season, just as you can with those autumn shots (only in reverse) by starting out shooting further south one week and moving further north as Spring progresses in that direction.
The key thing to remember here, especially when shooting flowers and plants low to the ground, is keep the background clean, make sure the background is not a color or texture that will take away from the image that you envision, if it is, reposition, or change the depth of field to better blur the background, underexpose to darken the background and really make the subject pop. Review your images periodically to insure that you are capturing the mood, the feeling that the subject is presenting to you. Remember, it is not wrong to bring a spray bottle to add the appearance of fresh morning dew or the feel the scene provides just after a gentle rain shower. You might also consider bringing reflectors and an umbrella to defuse possible harsh light along for the shoot, in order to make those minor tweaks to the lighting that mother nature provides to you.
My final tip in the area of macro photography would be to think small, and shoot low, this is the perfect subject matter to shoot from a bugs eye perspective, let you audience see the subject just as God’s tiniest creatures would, try to shoot up or at the same level as the subject when ever possible, it adds to the draw them in factor of your work.
Since the wedding I have gone on to add sports photography to my talent base, shooting for New England’s Premier Sports Photography Company. You see, I’m not suggesting something that I myself would not do, I’m suggesting, that you believe in yourself enough to take chances, step outside your comfort zone, and experience photography (your art) in a whole new light. You will be so very glad that you did, you’ll be setting yourself up to have even more doors open for you as you pursue your passion.
All of the above is great information, but quite simply it is not the point of this post. Just as in sports, as a photographer you have to practice your craft as much as possible. You also need to be open to leaning. The best photographers in the world will tell you that they are always learning their craft. The best of the best are always studying the art of photography, they budget part of their income each and every year for continuing education. As photographers we have so many options to continue our learning, from trade magazines to books, to class room training and trade shows. We also learn a great deal from one another, photographers love to study each others work, analyzing the way the light fell upon the subject, the angle in which the picture was taken, did the artist use added light, reflectors, or just natural light. We as photographers have so many learning options, but if we want to excel at our craft we have to commit to learning continuously, we have to invest in ourselves first, our equipment second. The best camera in the world is only capable of taking snap shots, if the user doesn’t understand how to make it work or how to capture the moment.
Make a commitment to yourself today (if you haven’t already). Look into furthering your education in the photographic arts, its an investment that will provide you with many opportunities, and rewards.
There is no getting around the cost of gas these days, so what do you do as a passionate photographer, stop going out? The fact is that just as your using the internet to reed my blog, you can also use the power of the internet to narrow down or even pinpoint your next destination.
I myself love the idea of discovery, going out and exploring , just to see what I might find,and though to my naturally cheap disposition, I found $2 per gallon gas to be less than pleasant, the idea of $4 per gallon gas is simply painful. The simple reality is; at $2 per gallon I would bite the bullet and pay the price to explore, the fun and adventure, along with the end result of many sell-able images seemed to make it worth while. Today that is simply not the reality, at $4 per gallon, I either take fewer trips, stay closer to home, or figure out exactly where I’m going ahead of time (far less exploring). So what is the passionate (explorer) photographer supposed to do in order to get great shots in possibly remote areas, without wasting a ton of gas finding that ultimate destination? Simply put, the answer is to become a researcher. Today the internet affords us the opportunity to research just about everything, and with all of the people in the world today that love to snap and post pictures, many of the sites that you can use to research, also include pictures. One of my favorite sites to us is Google Earth. Google Earth allows me to virtually visit the area that I am interested in visiting, it provides pictures that others have uploaded, so that I can get a better idea of the terrain, the feel, and the attractions in the area, it literally allows me to take the trip before I get into my car. You can also research the area through Google or Bing,
key in the name of the area or town, research using the local chamber of commerce website, or the States tourism website. Last but not least, seek out other photographers websites, by using keyword searches that take you to photos of the area. By doing a little homework first, you can map out the shortest routes that get you to the destinations that you would have otherwise found, but at a much higher cost. I hope this helps you to save money, or allows you to get back out on the road, visiting the destinations that you had hoped to explore. I’m including some shots that I have been able to capture at a savings, thanks to research ahead of time.