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Tips for photographing your flower garden

Though the weather has been less then ideal the past week, many readers are probably putting in hard work taking care of their flower gardens this time of year. As you make your rounds tending to your plants, don’t forget to snap a few images of all your hard work. Here are a few tips to improve your photos.

Take advantage of this specific time of year.

One of my favorite things about living in this part of the country is experiencing all four seasons. With that said, look for sights that only occur this time of the year. Depending on what you grow around your home or what area gardens you visit, you may remember some things are unique to this time of year, such as early-blooming flowers or budding leaves. Use your knowledge to your advantage. Green is everywhere now that it is early summer and can be taken advantage of for photos. Colorful flowers pop even more when you frame your image so the colorful subject is surrounded by a background of green.

 Depth of field is another important tool for photographing plants.

Depth of field is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a photo that appear sharp. Setting your camera’s aperture at f/2.8 or f/4 will give you a shallower depth of field then if you had it set to f/8 or f/10. A shallower depth of field means anything in front of or behind your focused on subject will be blurry. The lower the aperture number (f/2.8 for example) the blurrier the background. Try using this when photographing a plant or garden area that doesn’t have a particularly attractive background. You can also use depth of field to bring all the attention to a certain area of your subject. Just remember the closer you get to your subject the more you will be able to showcase the depth of field. Don’t have a digital camera, but still want to enjoy the benefits of depth of field in your photos? Many phones now include a portrait mode in the camera function that mimics the effects. Try it out on your flowers instead of your selfies.

 Lighting will always be an important tool for anything you photograph.

Just like when photographing people, take advantage of the “golden hour” for your plant photos. This time happens during early morning and late afternoon when the sun is either rising or setting. The light and resulting shadows are often times most interesting during that time of the day, resulting in more interesting imagery. Play around with the sun both behind your subject and in front of it. Pay attentions to the shadows cast and use them to strengthen your photos.

Just because you’re photographing plants or full gardens doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate other subjects. Use wildlife or even other people as secondary subjects in your image. Hands plucking petals from a beautiful flower or even a bee buzzing around a flower adds movement and life to your images, making them more visually interesting.

When snapping photos of your own flowers or even those in a neighborhood public space try to include what makes that particular scene unique. Is there an unusual sculpture in the garden, or maybe a unique shape or feature? If so, compose your image around it, using it to set your image apart.

Remembering a few of these tips and combing them will have you on your way to snapping beautiful imagery right in your back yard.

Send us your garden photos

From pretty posies to ravishing roses, a peck of perennials or a volume of vegetables, however your garden

grows, we’d love to share the bounty – so to speak – with our readers.

Send your garden photos to with the subject line “Garden Photos.” High-quality .jpg files work best.

Be sure to tell us a little about yourself, including your name and location, and give us a little information about your photo and your garden in general if you like. You can even include your secret to horticultural success.

Then look for your photos in our print editions and in our online photo galleries at

So pack your camera along with your potting soil and we’ll see you in the paper.

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