It’s fair to say that we are all looking forward to the arrival of spring! It seems to have been a long hard winter in many different respects, and we just can’t wait for the milder weather and lighter evenings of spring.
Whilst the clocks don’t spring forward until Sunday 26th March, we should soon be able to sense spring in the air.Spring also brings with it many exciting opportunities for some wonderful photography.
So in this article we share five useful tips on how to take the best photographs this spring.
Tip 1 : Be prepared for anything!
Spring is a very unpredictable season. You may head out for a walk in the rain, not bother to take your camera, then the sun comes out and you are presented with an unexpected photo opportunity that you can’t take advantage of. So always be prepared for all eventualities.
On a sunny spring day there will be a wide variety of potential shots. For starters there will be people sitting outside enjoying the sun, children playing, dogs chasing and perhaps activities such as sports, boats sailing or kites flying. And then of course there are all the natural images of spring such as flowers, trees, birds and small animals to look out for.
But don’t rule out those rainy days too. You can often get some wonderfully atmospheric shots of the natural elements of spring against a backdrop of shimmering rain.
So take the time to head outdoors this spring whatever the weather, and make sure that both you and your camera have good waterproof covering so that you are prepared for anything.
Tip 2 : Make the best of the spring light
There’s something so energising about the fresh spring sun. And that pale glistening light can result in some wonderful photos. It’s especially ethereal in either the early morning or early evening, both of which are great times for getting some stunning shots.
Remember that you can also manipulate the amount and quality of light in your shot with the so-called “exposure triangle”. This describes the relationship between three camera settings — aperture, shutter speed and ISO – and we cover it in more detail in our recent article Want to learn about photography? Start here.
When taking photos during the day in the sun, unless you want a shot that is either shadowy or has sun flare, just make sure that your subject is not in the full glare of the sun and that you control the angle at which the light hits the subject.
You may also want to consider using flash. This may seem a bit strange when the sun is out, but sometimes flash can eliminate shadows and help you to ensure that the subject is not underexposed. It can also add further brightness to the natural sunlight in your shot, giving an even sunnier feel to the finished shot.
Tip 3 : Compose your shot carefully
In our article Want to learn about photography? Start here we also discussed the “rule of thirds”. The idea behind this is that if you have a main subject to focus on in the photograph, think of your shot as being divided up into nine squares – just like a noughts and crosses grid. To get a well-balanced photo, position your subject on one of the lines separating the squares.
Also make sure that you have a good balance of content and background – white space – in the photograph, so that it does not look cluttered. You need to avoid distracting backgrounds such as brightly coloured objects or areas, high contrasting colours, or other subjects that are in sharp focus.
Another tip on how to take the best photographs this spring is to position the horizon effectively when composing a shot. For example, if you want to emphasise the top of the image – for example a beautiful skyline – treat the horizon as the main subject and place it low in the image. But if you want a subject in the lower part of the image to really stand out, either place the horizon at the very top of the image or even eliminate it altogether for a more dramatic effect.
Tip 4 : Make the most of colours and textures
Spring colours are glorious, so aim to capture them to their full effect in your photos. This is where you may find using a filter on your camera extremely useful. A filter is a glass or gelatin element that can be attached to the front of your camera to add effects to your shot.
Some filters – such as polarising filters and UV/haze filters – can help to reduce glare and provide extra protection for the front of your lens. There are also warming/cooling or colour filters to achieve different effects such as whiter whites or richer colours. Spring is the ideal time to experiment with filters to help achieve the kind of results you are hoping for.
Also be aware of representing different textures in your photographs. For example, including reflections – for example from water or glass – when composing your shots can add both interest and authenticity to your images.
Tip 5 : Get up close and personal
Our final piece of advice on how to take the best photographs this spring is to try taking photos from different angles. If you take several photographs of the same scene but in a few different ways you could be amazed at the results. So try either getting down low and taking an upward shot, or find a higher vantage point and take a shot from there.
Another cool thing to try in spring is a bit of macro photography. This refers to taking very close up shots of subjects such as flowers, buds, leaves, water or wildlife. This enables you to emphasise colours, textures and shapes.
You can succeed in macro photography with whatever kind of camera or lens that you have. But you can also buy specialist macro lenses for both cameras and phones. A macro lens enables you to zoom in as close as possible and create a much more detailed shot. And whatever lens you use, a really good tip is to use a tripod for macro shots where possible, to avoid blurring.
You can read more about macro photography in our article How to succeed in macro photography.
We hope that this guide has given you some useful tips on how to take the best photographs this spring and that you are delighted with the results.