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How to Take Great Photos of Your Garden | Pro Tips for Taking Great Garden Photos

If you are looking to take some beautiful photos of your garden, these tips of taking great garden photos will definitely help you.

Technical Stuff

Sometimes covering the basics makes all the difference. Emma recommends making sure your lens in clean, and that your camera is set to capture images at as high a resolution as possible. She suggests using a wide angle lens (anywhere between 14 mm and 35 mm) for capturing the entire setting of your garden and balcony. If you’re looking to capture a special vignette or grouping of pots, use a normal lens like a 50 mm or a slightly longer.

Be sure to turn your flash off, natural lighting is best.

Emma suggests that if you have manual controls “be sure to select an exposure that gives you the most depth of field combined with the fastest shutter speed.” If your camera just has automatic settings for different types of scenes, “choose landscape as it usually enhances greens and blues.”

Getting Your Balcony Ready to Be Photographed

Again, covering the basics will get you a lot of bang for your buck. Remove dead leaves, sweep the floor, rinse your plants to remove dust and other debris. I know I have to resist the urge to just snap away and do these first, but having a sharp looking garden makes it a lot easier to produce sharp looking photographs!

Emma also suggests some styling tips that will help you enjoy your garden long after you’re done photographing it. She thinks groupings of three are often pleasing to the eye, and likes adding some accessories to liven things up. “It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, painted rocks, watering cans, sun umbrellas, statues, etc” all work well.

As far as the day of your photo shoot, including your family pet (“if they like the serenity of your garden”) is a great way to add interest to your photos. Emma also points out that a nice food set up can work well too, like “a bowl of colourful fresh fruit or a loaf of bread, cheese & wine.”

Lighting

Be sure to choose the time of day that shows off your balcony in the best light. Here are Emma’s suggestions for different exposures:

  • If you are north facing, any time is perfect as there won’t be any direct sunlight.
  • If you are west facing, consider waiting until late in the day when the sun is low and lazy.
  • East facing? Get up early and catch the sun’s first rays kissing your plants good morning.
  • South facing balconies might be best at high noon.

Don’t forget about nighttime! As Emma points out, “Sometimes a night shot, with patio lanterns or candles, works amazingly well. Just be sure to use a tripod to avoid camera shake. Don’t use flash, it will spoil the ambiance of the natural lighting.”

Capturing the Perfect Shot

Emma recommends “tak[ing] a few pictures showing the widest view of your garden that you can so we can see it in it’s entirety” and also “tak[ing] a few pictures highlighting some special settings or groupings. Move around your garden and shoot from different angles, up high, down low and be sure to shoot some vertical and some horizontal images.” She says–and I totally concur!–make sure to capture “the unique qualities and features of your garden. Maybe you have some rare plants, unusual pots, or interesting decor…show it off!”

Now that you surely have plenty of great balcony garden photos, why not share them with us?

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