Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Contact sheets are very handy when first approaching editors. despite this being the digital age editor would still prefer to see hard copies rather than flick through a whole load of online files.

Garden images Tip 1.

On cloudless days to obtain the best garden images, try to visit the garden early or late in the day to get the best light. ‘The Golden Hour’ is consider to be some of the best light for garden images and many phone apps such as ‘Sun Position’ by Stonekick tell you the start and end times are for that day.

Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Garden images Tip 2.

A breeze is the garden photographer’s worst enemy. If you’re hoping to do some close-ups, check the five-day weather forecast, and try to go on a day when the wind strength is low – preferably 6 mph or below. Take a Wimberley Plamp (Plant Clamp) or similar device to help hold the flower steady.

Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Garden images Tip 3.

As far as lenses are concerned, a couple of zoom lens incorporating wide angle (for overall, establishing shots of the garden) to medium telephoto up to 200mm (for detail shots) will cover the general garden views. If you’d like to take flower close-ups, a 100mm to 200mm macro lens will be ideal. Photograph flowerbeds at an angle or side on (along the length of the bed) when using a zoom lens, as it will help compress the border and bring plants in the background further forward. Try and avoid shooting the borders front-on as these will often lead to very unsatisfactory images.

Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Garden images Tip 4.

A reflector and scrim will be handy for close up photos if the light is bright. A reflector, to help bounce light back into the shadows and a scrim to soften the light and make your subjects appear to glow.

Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Garden images Tip 5.

Always use a tripod! Yes I know they are a pain, but they will help slow you down and fine-tune your composition for both close-ups and general garden shots. It also allows you to work single-handed so you can hold a reflector while still taking the photograph.

Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Garden images Tip 6.

Only Photograph really perfect subjects. Watch out for damages petals, watermarked flowers or slug eaten stems. Try and find a flower that is perfect before you compose your image.

Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Garden images Tip 7.

Check your viewfinder before pressing the shutter. Watch out for plant labels, bits of wire, dead leaves, even fence edges

Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Garden images Tip 8.

If you intend to sell your images to magazines they will require a range of images from establishing shots showing the overall site to midrange images down to macro shots. It’s easy to get carried away with close up shots, but remember to look for some wider garden views as well.

Contact sheets are very handy when first approaching editors. despite this being the digital age editor would still prefer to see hard copies rather than flick through a whole load of online files.

Garden images Tip 9.

For wider views, try and including some foreground interest to give depth to your photograph just as you would with any landscape photograph

Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Garden images Tip 10.

Although spring and summer are best for flowers, there are beautiful shots to be found in gardens at other times of year too – autumn foliage is always stunning, or seed heads sparkling with frost on a winter morning. Another favourite of garden editors is to see the same garden photographed during all four seasons. So don’t forget to come back at a different time of the year and record how the garden changes.

To learn more about garden design and Garden Photography why not check out our

1 Year Online Garden Design Diploma course

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Duncan Heather

Duncan Heather is one of Europe’s foremost garden designers, to-date having won five gold, one silver & one bronze medal and three best of show awards for his design work. Duncan sat on the SGD council from 2004-7 during which time he was responsible for producing the first industry standard fee scale as well as instigating the publishing of the first standard contract.

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