THIS IS A GUEST POST COURTESY OF STEPHANIE HENNEMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Spring is a magical time for photography. The renewal of life is never more predominant than in the Spring. The dramatic change in nature with flowers and leaves blooming is the perfect backdrop for Spring Photography. Here are a few tips to think about while shooting outside to get the absolute best out of this beautiful season that displays nature’s new beginnings.
Think finer details.
Bokeh is a photographic term that is derived from the Japanese “Boke” meaning blur or haze. Details and bokeh are amazing together, especially when photographing people and flowers. Prime lenses are best for creating beautiful bokeh. Zooms can achieve bokeh as well, but there are a number of reasons primes will give you the best results. Most importantly because they are faster and able to shoot at wide apertures. Here are four things that you can do when shooting to achieve a creamy background.
Shoot wide open:
Use as wide of an aperture as possible.
Keep as much distance from your background and subject as possible. The further away the subject is from the background, the more blur the background will have and the subject will “pop”.
Use a longer focal length. You will notice more bokeh with a 135mm lens than you will with a 35mm lens because of the decreased depth of field.
Get up close and personal:
Move closer to your subject. Standing physically closer to your subject will also help with that creamy background. Bokeh can also be enhanced while editing in Photoshop.
Nature is full of beautiful patterns so use that to your advantage. Examples would be tree bark, rocks, flowers and leaves as they often contain repeating forms and shapes as well as strong lines to aid in composition. Be sure to look at the wider view. Things like repeating trees make for great images as well. Use nature’s beauty to your advantage!
As with all photos background is key. What direction you point your camera and the background you choose can make or break an image. There are many things that will draw the viewer’s attention but here are four to stay away from…
- Overly bright spots and areas
- Brightly colored objects (even blurred in the background can be distracting)
- High contrast
- Objects in the background which are in sharp focus
When aiming in a certain direction you can also create a clean background which will provide you with a nicer image. For example, aim up and there is an amazing sky that can provide a more blue or neutral background.
Using the right light is what photography is all about. Most times, you don’t want to have any flares in your image. However, adding a sun flare in the right location can add a nice mood to your image whether it is a “moody” edit or a light and airy edit. Adding sun flares gives an image that extra touch if needed. Sunlight highlights many textures in a photograph and can make an image that much more detailed and overall stunning. The only thing to look out for is to make sure it flatters your subject. If more drama is desired in an image, include more shadows. But if you want to create a light and airy photograph then choose soft light.
Another beautiful source of lighting is backlighting. Many subjects look great when light is coming from behind or through them. It gives the subject/image a nice glowy effect. The best time for backlight is during the “golden hour” when the sun sets and gives that warm soft glow. Backlighting can also be used to create a silhouette. Remember, you can always combine sun flares and backlighting to achieve an absolutely stunning image.
Lastly, go out, get some fresh air and take some portrait photos! Clients will travel just as far as photographers to get beautiful photos with natural backgrounds. Aim to use a large aperture to blur the background if desired to achieve that amazing bokeh and always think about the light!
What’s your favorite part about photography in Spring? Share in the comments below!