The renewal of life is never more prominent than in the spring, and this change in the season is a magical time for photography. This article obviously relates to those temperate parts of the world that have four seasons including spring.
Spring of course accompanies flowers blooming, and leaf shoots growing. This dramatic change in the natural world allows you as a photographer to tell the story of a place afresh, just as nature restarts again for another year. So let’s look at some spring photography ideas, to help you get the best out of the season.
All those flowers make for some amazing backgrounds for your portrait photos.
1 – Focus on the finer details
Whether you’re able to photograph bluebells, daffodils, or cherry blossoms these detail photos you can get from floral photography will be an important part of your set. Even if you’re not photographing flowers, perhaps instead you’re at a spring festival, the detail photo is important.
The following are a few ideas that may help you improve your spring photography:
Bokeh – Bokeh and detail photos go well together, especially when you photograph flowers. The easiest way to achieve to this to photograph a flower in the foreground, with other flowers in the background. Then using a large aperture you should achieve a nice soft background. This works better with macro lenses or prime lenses with a large aperture.
Patterns – Nature is full of nice patterns so use this to your advantage. The repetition of flowers can make for a nice pattern, or indeed petals on the ground once they’ve fallen. Alternatively, at a spring festival, the produce can often be laid out in a pattern, ideal for photography
Background – As with all photos the background is important. Aiming in a certain direction you can create a clean background and a much nicer image. Shooting up at the sky on a clear day will give a blue background, or perhaps aim down towards the grass for a green background. As mentioned above, you may also choose to blur out the background with bokeh.
The Light – Using the light is what photography is all about. The way it may shine through petals can give you nice details, as the sunlight picks up all the textures of the flower. You can also use shards of light, if you spot a leaf that’s lit up on its own it can make a nice photo.
Using bokeh and good light is important, but adding an extra element like a bee will make the photo even better.
2 – Explore the wider scene in your spring photography
The temptation, especially with flower photos, is to keep in close and not take a bigger landscape style photo. The flower beds and areas with many blossoming trees can make for some amazing spring photography though.
Likewise, taking a photo of the whole festival from an elevated position is an integral part of a sequence of photos you’d take at such an event. If you’re looking for the quintessential floral spring photographs, you can look to the following to enhance your chance of success.
Check the forecast – That’s not just the weather forecast, but the blossom forecast! Whether you’re in Japan, Washington or any other part of the world with seasonal flowers, there will be a peak period.
The composition is king – As with all landscape photos good composition will get you the best results, now you have the element of spring to incorporate into your photo as well.
Extra context – This could simply be those floral blossoms indicating spring. However, including other elements like buildings that are region specific will add even more context to your photo.
Looking for more context could mean using buildings with typical local traditional architecture.
3 – Take some portrait photos!
Spring can be a really popular time for portrait photography. The symbol of new life and those amazing backgrounds combine to make this a special time for portrait work. Whether you’re photographing yourself, or other people there are ample opportunities.
Photoshoot – Models and couples will travel just as far as photographers to get beautiful photos will natural backgrounds. Aim to use a large aperture and blur out the background. Lines of trees can add depth to a photo when a shallow depth of field is applied. Having your model interact with some of the flowers is also a nice touch.
Other people – Photographs of people enjoying spring can be great. As the weather warms up and people start to enjoy park life, there are increased chances for street photos. Typical examples might include people walking through flowery fields, or perhaps taking self-portraits.
The selfie – Lastly there is always taking photos of yourself, everyone needs a new profile picture for spring!
Daffodils are one of the first signs of spring in many countries. Here a person walks through a field of these flowers.
4 – Try something creative
Spring photography is a broad subject, it does, in fact, encompass more or less every type of photography that exists. The theme that’s consistent is that you’re photographing spring specifically.
The application of more experimental techniques can be a great way to shake things up, so what could you try? The following are just some examples and ideas for getting creative:
Light trails – It is not uncommon for spring foliage to grow along the side of a road. This presents a great opportunity to take a car light trails photo, and include some spring blossoms for context.
Refraction – The crystal ball is a versatile piece of equipment to have in the bag, and for sure you can use it in the spring to make some creative photos.
Motion blur – On a windy day, setting your camera on a tripod to capture the motion of the moving vegetation can create a nice abstract looking photo. To do this you’ll need to expose for several seconds, to capture that movement.
In this photo a yellow ball was used. The yellow against white echoes that of an egg, and with spring this gives the concept of new life.
5 – Spring festivals
Another sign of spring is the festivals and religious holidays that occur during this time, depending on where you are in the world they will be different. They all offer photography opportunities, again with still life, portraits or scene setting photos portraying that festival.
In Asia, there are some dramatic festivals such as Japan’s Setsuban festival that celebrates the end of winter, and the beginning of spring. Then perhaps closer to home are the Easter holidays, with the accompanying traditions that go along with it. These events both tell the story of renewal, a powerful theme for spring.
This is a festival in South Korea that marks the end of winter and the start of spring. People wear the traditional clothes of Korean farm dancers.
Time to go and enjoy the fresh spring air
How do you like to do your spring photography? Does it only mean flowers and nature, or are there other things about spring that you enjoy photographing?
Perhaps you’ve photographed spring many times before, so how about trying a different photographic style this time? Lastly, we love to see examples of your spring photography both past and present, so please share them in the comments section!
A bed of petals can make a great detail photo.
Look for people in their natural environment, caring for the land. It adds a bit more story to this spring photo.
Capturing the wider scene here to include a local landmark, and spring flowers in the foreground.
Try experimenting with some different concepts, here some motion blur was captured by using a slower shutter speed.
is a specialist in creative photography techniques and is well known for his work with a crystal ball. His work has featured magazines including National Geographic Traveler. With over 8 years of experience in lensball photography, Simon is an expert in this field. Get some great tips by downloading his free e-book!
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