When It Rains, It Shines

Lush green landscapes provide stunning detail for your photographs


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At the end of a long, rainy winter, we’ve been rewarded with a great number of phenomenal nature photo opportunities all around us. Heavy rains can bring tall, bright green grasses, vibrant and plentiful flower fields and extensive healthy new growth on trees. This spring and summer will be a wonderful time to get out and capture nature’s beauty. Here are some tips to help your nature photos really tell the story.

Full new growth on trees can provide a striking backdrop for silhouetted branches. Position yourself so the leaves are lit from behind and then adjust your camera for the brightness of the leaves. You can do this by pointing the little square in the viewfinder at the leaves, pushing the shutter halfway down and then while holding it down, reposition the camera for the scene you want. On most cameras, this locks in the brightness (exposure) settings for the leaves. Likewise, high flowers such as these sunflowers can be backlit by the sun for a bright and uplifting feeling.

Mixing textures, such as soft leaves, grass or blooming trees with the roughness of bark, man-made structures or natural hardscape can further accentuate the softness of the new growth. Include scenes with interesting shadows on a green grass field to add depth and intrique.

If you’re shooting flowers up close, you’ll get the best detail in soft light such as morning or late afternoon or on slightly overcast days. Keep in mind that what looks like a lot of flowers to you may not appear that way in a two-dimensional photo. You can always get low and close to the flowers to fill a good percentage of the frame with color. That will give the appearance of flowers everywhere.