Monday, 6 February 2017

Back Garden Photography

I was on Instagram, scrolling through my feed, seeing all these amazing shots of far off places, wishing I could be there. Then every now & then, I'd come across a shot of a flower or a bird in someone's back garden & those shots are as powerful & amazing as all the others!

This started me thinking: Most of the photographs I've taken have been in my back garden & of the birds that come to visit.

Now I'm sure as amateur or pro photographers, we all want to travel to exotic or spectacular locations because a great location to shoot in should usually inspire us & help us to capture some great shots. I know I do! However, some of the most inspiring places to shoot can often be our own back garden or local area & by utilising the resources & locations on your very doorstep, you can hone your creativity & skill as a photographer.  So when you do find yourself in that far off place, you'll be more likely to get that amazing shot because you've already been practising & honing your craft before you get there.

There are plenty of different types of photography that you can practise within your back garden & I thought I'd list a few to hopefully inspire anyone out there that might be struggling to find something to shoot or not sure where to start if they're wanting to try a type of photography:


Garden photography lends itself nicely to practising Macro shots. If you own a Macro lens (Micro Nikkor if you use Nikon), then you can get up close & personal with the flowers, trees & insects in your garden. If you don't have a Macro lens, you can either have a play with seeing how close you can get your camera to focus on your chosen subject, or I remember reading an article that said to turn your lens round & shoot through the back (the part that sits in your camera) as this apparently will do the same thing as a Macro lens (I haven't tried it though). I'm sure you can also get a mount that will fix the lens to your camera this way round so you don't have to worry about letting any extra light onto the sensor, resulting in an over exposed shot.

ISO: 450 Aperture: f/3.3 Shutter Speed: 1/100s Focal Length: 60mm

Depending on the area you live in, will depend on what type of wildlife you'll have the opportunity to photograph. I'm very blessed to live in a fairly quiet area that's flourishing with a few different types of birds. My garden is also a haven for a number of different insects, such as Bees. Plus, I also have a small wildlife pond in the garden, which is home to a few frogs that are happy to be photographed while they're sunbathing!

ISO:250 Aperture: f/5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/500s Focal Length: 300mm
Photographing Wildlife isn't without its challenges & I've found that it has really helped me to learn patience & also become a little quicker at picking up my camera. It's also helped me quicken my lens changes too, since you can guarantee a bird will arrive either on the fence, a rooftop or even join me in the garden when I've just put my kit lens back on my camera & I have to change back to telephoto lens! Of course, you don't have to use a telephoto lens but I find it helps get some nice close up shots without trying to get too close & resulting in the bird flying away before I've taken my shot.

ISO: 1100 Aperture: f/5.3 Shutter Speed: 1/400s Focal Length: 240mm
Flower, Plant & Tree Photography:

This is probably the most obvious as everyone, no matter how small or large their garden, is likely to have plant life of some description in their garden or in their home if they don't have a garden. As mentioned above, these are a good way to practise Macro Photography, but they're also a great subject to help you become more familiar with your camera settings & becoming more creative with your shots. They are a nice still subject (unless its windy, then if you don't want blur, you may need to change your focus mode to Continuous-servo) so you could maybe have a go at creative blur by slowing down your shutter speed & moving your camera. Another thing I love to do is to playing with the Exposure Value, to either darker or brighten a shot. I especially love to do this when shooting in Monochrome. Try lowering the exposure value by a stop or two & see how your shots look.

ISO: 200 Aperture: f/9 Shutter Speed: 1/320s Focal Length: 55mm Exposure Value: -2

ISO: 200 Aperture: f/5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/40s Focal Length: 300mm Exposure Value: -1.7

Well, that's just a few types of Photography that you can begin practising right in your very own back garden! Utilising the subjects in my back garden has done wonders for my photography & allowed me to keep taking photographs even on days when I can't get out anywhere else. So all that's left is for you to get out in your back garden & see what amazing shots you can make!

If you'd like to check out more my garden photography, then feel free to have a browse & follow my Instagram Account: @l.e.sphotography

Happy Snapping!

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