With summer at its peak in most parts of the world, now is the time to capture some beautiful shots of the wildflowers in full bloom. So, here are some tips to get you started.
The right gear
What you pack in your kit really depends on the location of your shoot. If you’re hiking a long way to get there, you’ll want to take the minimum from this list.
Tripod- A sturdy tripod from Beachcamera.com comes in handy if you’re shooting in conditions that require slightly longer shutter speeds by ensuring your camera doesn’t move. Also, when you handhold your camera, there’s a tendency to just snap away. Adding the tripod compels you to spend more time thinking about your composition and ensuring your camera is in a very precise position.
Lenses- When shooting wildflowers, try to cover a focal length of 16-300mm. The majority of your compositions fall in the 16-35mm range, but you never know when you may want to snap an abstract shot or try something new when you’re out in the field.
Polarizer- The sky in your composition will benefit a great deal from using a circular polarizer and the vegetation’s rich colors will be brought out as well.
Bug spray- This may sound trivial, but remember, you will be outdoors in grassy areas, fields and near ponds.
Well stocked backpack- A camera backpack or your favorite hiking backpack with a first aid kit, water, extra batteries, wireless remote, , cleaning cloths, tripod tools, extra layers, extra change of clothes for water mishaps, and snacks is a must.
GPS- Always carry a GPS with you. This is especially important if shooting in areas where you are unfamiliar.
Techniques to try
When you find yourself surrounded by fields of gorgeous flowers it’s very easy to become overwhelmed by the seemingly endless photographic possibilities. These tips will help you navigate some of the challenges.
Composition-Look for flowers just approaching the peak of their bloom, and try to fill the lower 1/3 of your camera frame with them to give your photo lots of foreground interest and depth.
Weather- The best time to photograph wildflowers is on an overcast day, because the clouds act as the perfect light diffuser. Cloudy days are good too. Just wait for a cloud to cover the sun before taking your shot.
Shutter speed- To help freeze wildflowers, especially when there is a breeze blowing, use a fast shutter speed of at least 1/200.
Orientation- Switch the mode on your camera from Beachcamera.com back and forth and shoot in both portrait and landscape mode.
Respect the flowers- Never pick the flowers to improve your composition. Tread lightly so you don’t trample the meadows as you walk through. Don’t leave anything behind. If you pack it in, pack it out.
Use these tips to get out there and make the most of peak wildflower season.