This Month's Theme:

From Nikon School Training Manager Neil Freeman

"Embrace the weather, use the light and reflect new life"

Neil Freeman shares his Top Tips for shooting unique moments in spring:

  • Get creative with flowers – try to find the different angle or shot, with either bluebells, daffodils or tulips that show spring has arrived. Try shooting from a low angle close up to the flowers to change their scale or crop in tight to with a shallow depth of field such as f2.8 to isolate one flower with the background becoming a sea of blurred colour.
  • When photographing flowers try standing further back and using a telephoto lens to compress the perspective of the image – this will give the impression that the flowers are more densely planted and packed closely together
  • Use the light – with a low sun that you get in spring try shooting ‘contre jour’ (into the light) to either create silhouettes or by adding fill flash from your pop-up or external flash to the image for a beautiful backlit portrait. Alternatively shoot the long shadows or golden hour light as it hits the landscape
  • Make the most of the rain – use rain or dew drops on leaves as magnifying lenses or capture them hanging from a spider’s web. Use a macro lens to get really close to maximise the detail in the image. These types of images can also look great in monochrome.
  • Reflect Life - If you are in an urban environment try to use the reflections in puddles or in pavements created by often wet spring weather to bring out more of your surroundings. can create interesting abstract images by using either, macro, telephoto or wide angle lenses.
  • Embrace the weather - the changeable spring weather gives us blue skies one moment and stormy rain clouds the next. If the light is changing quickly use Auto ISO on your camera (if it has it) which will automatically compensate for the changing lighting and allow you to think about your image composition rather than having keep changing the settings on your camera. Images with storm clouds can look just as impressive as images with a bright blue sky, especially if the sun does start to break through.
  • Colourful Landscapes - as blossoms and greenery start to appear across the landscape use a wide angle lens to capture the scenery. Think about using avenues of trees in blossom as leading lines in your images. If you shoot from under a tree on a wide angle lenses the overhanging branches can be used to create a frame within your frame as well.
  • When nice weather finally takes hold, use fast shutter speeds to capture the emotions of your family and friends out and about enjoying themselves in the spring weather. This could be playing sport in the park or wandering around a street market.
  • Insects can be found everywhere in spring, and ladybirds and bumble bees on objects or flowers photographed with a macro lens or close-up using a longer focal length such as 300mm can also make good images. Again make sure to use fast shutter speeds to avoid unwanted blur in your images.

Running his own professional photography business for 10 years before joining Nikon, Neil now shares his expertise, talent and creativity by training others.

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