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Lets Capture Spring Shoots

Let's Capture Spring Shoots

Spring is the ideal time to head out with your camera to capture some colour. Here's our expert advice for picture-perfect petals and beautiful blooms this season...

1. Points of view

Don't be satisfied with shooting from your eye level, get down low for a worm's-eye view. An articulated rear LCD, like on the Sony A7R, will help you with this, otherwise just kneel or lie down on the ground. From a low viewpoint, look up so the flowers are pictured against a beautiful blue sky, filling your frame with colour.

2. Obey the rules

Get some impact into your shots using the rule of thirds. In your mind, place an imaginary noughts and crosses grid over your image; some cameras can display the grid on the live view screen. Line up your subject on one of the intersections to guarantee a picture with punch.

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3. Close encounters

Don't be afraid to get in really close. You don't have to show the whole flower or plant; try focusing on a flower's stamens for a more abstract shot, or go for patterns in a leaf. If you're using your camera's standard kit lens, choose macro mode to get a frame-filling image. When you're focusing very close, your camera's autofocus might hunt - it won't focus right where you want - so flick the switch on your lens to change from auto to manual focus. Then twist the manual focus ring on the lens until your subject is sharp.

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4. One or all

If you want to isolate just a few blooms or even a single flower, zoom in with a long focal length. Choose a large aperture, around f/4, to throw the background out of focus and really hold the viewer's attention where you want. For a field full of flowers though, go wide and set a smaller aperture, say f/16. This will give a frame full of colour, sharp from front to back.

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5. Delightful dewdrops

Add some interest to your shots by heading out at the crack of dawn for some sparkling dewdrops on leaves, petals and fresh grass. Or, if you like the idea but can't persuade yourself out of bed, fake it. Use a spray bottle, the sort you can pick up from garden centres, to mist your chosen subject. Use a wide aperture like f/4 and see if you can create some beautiful bokeh when the light catches the droplets.

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