Gardening is a little bit like fishing. Stories of the catfish that got away and boasts of softball-size tomatoes tend to get a little larger as the summer sun lowers into fall. We can’t always get photographic evidence of elusive aquatic monsters, but we can document the fruits of our home gardens. I enjoy taking photos of my vegetables and flowers, mainly because I’m amazed by the power of Mother Nature’s beauty. Enough water, a little fertilizer, and some late-evening tender care goes a long way. Fighting flying pests, furry night diggers, and drought adds to the drama. From planning, to tilling, to planting and harvest, I like to look back at my garden photos and say, “Wow!”
A few tips about photographing gardens. You can use a phone or a 35mm. Each have limitations. The biggest one is lighting. Phones are pretty good, but can’t deal with bad lighting or focusing issues. Some advice:
*Photograph in the mid-morning or afternoon. Overhead sunlight casts bad shadows and is generally harsh light. Overcast days are excellent for garden photography, as long as it’s not too dark.
*Calm days are best. Flowers and plants tend to sway in the wind. This can make for unfocused photos.
*Make sure your background is good. Watch for cars, trash cans, trailers, etc. A dark background is best for plants.
*Water your garden or take photos after it rains. The dark soils makes the green plants looks bold. Look for contrast in your photos.
*Plant flowers in different colors. Mix it up.
*Plant gardens with tallest plants (corn, sunflower) on one side and shorter plants elsewhere. This allows for proper sunlight distribution and easier photography.
*Look for perspective. I photograph from the corners or from above and below. Put the camera underneath plants and shoot towards the sky (puffy white clouds are cool).
*Take a lot of photos and see what works. Experiment. Have fun!