Five Tips for Photographing the Joys of Spring

I really hope the snow has melted wherever you find yourself in the world. It’s been a tough winter for many people living in North America … one where I’m sure there were more people holding snow shovels than cameras. But now that the daffodils are announcing the arrival (or at least the promise!) of spring, it’s time to shake off the winter blues, and get outside with your camera. Here are some tips that I hope will set you on the right path.

 

#1.  CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME

 

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In springtime, the weather and the light are right. After school and before dinner you’ll still find some beautiful low angle sunlight. In the summertime, that happens much closer to bedtime. In the summer time, the gorgeous light happens after dinner;  right around the time the kids need to be heading for the bath and bed. The cool days of April and May are absolutely perfect portraiture weather.  6:30 or 7:00 is a great time to be outside with your camera—with someone you love.

 

#2.  EXPLORE NATURE

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The greens of springtime are greener and everything is just perkier. Springtime is arguably the most beautiful time to be in a forest—there’s a hint of green in the canopies but the light is still coming through. In the summertime the canopies are much denser and everything is darker in the shade. When the leaves start to come out in the springtime a walk in the woods with your kids or dog is a thing of joy. In late August, those leaves will be much darker in color and a little bit wilted—just like you. Babies and spring flowers are an unbeatable combination. And yes, a baby trying to eat a tulip can be a wonderful photograph. (Adult supervision required.) Also any child of ANY age posing with a bouquet of fresh cut flowers is going to be a winner.

 

#3.  EMBRACE THE RAIN

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A little rain is probably not going to hurt your camera as much as most people think. Camera manufacturers will not claim that their cameras are waterproof but many of them describe their products as water resistant. That means you can probably go for a walk in the rain photographing rain drops hanging off of flower buds and not worry about it too much. (Last summer, I left my Samsung NX 300 outside in the pouring rain all night long – somebody wasn’t thinking. The next day I dried it off with a T-shirt and put it in front of a fan for several hours. Good as new. When I told the camera repair guys at Samsung about this they said they were not surprised in the least.)  Check your manual to see what it says about your camera and water. You may be surprised at what you find.

 

#4.  BRIGHT IS BEAUTIFUL

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Bright raincoats and bright colored rain boots are fantastic photo subjects. This is true even if people aren’t wearing them. A smiling six-year-old in a bight yellow raincoat is tough to beat when it comes to cute subjects, though. Of course, a missing front tooth doesn’t hurt. And speaking of raincoats and boots…

 

#5. CHOOSE THE CLOTHES

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If you are going to get out into nature with your family and you know you’re bringing your camera, you absolutely will not regret having them all put on solid bright colors before you go. Yes, I know, it sounds obsessive, but I promise, your pictures will be better for it. When you’re getting the kids dressed in the morning and you know you are going to have them help you in the garden that day think about what they’re going to be wearing in the photographs. I kid you not; once you start noticing the difference in your photographs, you are only going to buy Nick Kelsh Photo Approved Clothes— solid and bright with no corporate logos.

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring!

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