As the weather improves here in Houston, my thoughts turn to outdoor activities. Today, my children were going to plant an organic garden at their daycare and that was something I didn’t want to miss. So I arrived, camera in hand, ready to take some pictures.
Today it was overcast. You may not know this but overcast skies can be a photographer’s dream! That soft bright light that fills the air all but eliminates shadows, and gives you wonderful bright colors. Even if you are shooting in automatic mode, your camera will have a much easier time setting the correct exposure to give you great pictures straight out of the camera. So next time you have an overcast day – run out and take some new pictures, you’ll see what I mean!
Today, it was all about the garden. And so they started with a bare planting bed, and packets of seeds and some small flowers. I’m looking forward to returning later this summer to photograph the difference! When you are taking pictures of details surrounding an event, consider ways that you can crop your image to make it more interesting. In this case, the packet of seeds is in the bottom right of the frame, and the dirt area goes out of focus filling the rest of the frame. It keeps the seeds in focus, but also gives you a sense of the emptiness of the rest of the garden.
Rule of Thirds
Perhaps you have heard of the rule of thirds? This term relates to how we can compose our photographs in a way to create more visual interest than a photograph that is simply centered. According to Wikipedia: The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.
I placed a grid over the image of the tomato plants from above to give you an example. In this case, the way that I have interpreted the rule, I left the upper third, and the left third of the image empty, and had the front row of plants, which are in focus, along the axis line for the bottom third of the photograph.
Finally, don’t forget to have fun with your photos. Sometimes the rules don’t matter. Try different angles. Get close. Back up. Lay on the ground! Hold the camera over your head! Variety in your photographs will not only make them more fun to take, but will keep them interesting for years to come as you go back and review your images.