Have you noticed how many photographers are fascinated with the natural world? Even if we specialise in another genre, few of us can resist a gorgeous flower, or a branch of autumn leaves.
One of the best things about photographing nature is that it is so accessible. You needn’t travel far to find it, because it’s all around you. You may take it for granted because you see it every day, but your own backyard is treasure trove. Every hour of every day and every season, bring something new.
Backyard needn’t be taken literally here. If you don’t have a backyard, you’ll find plenty of nature to photograph just by wandering the streets or public parks and gardens.
Tech details: All of the photographs in this article were shot on my Canon 5D Mark III. Unless otherwise stated, I have used my Canon macro 100mm f/2.8 lens. I have included details of ISO, aperture and shutter speed settings.
Flowers and leaves
Flowers and leaves are often the first things that come to mind when we look for subjects in our own backyards. They offer an endless variety of colours, shapes and textures for you to photograph. You could create a collection based on a single colour scheme, or try to find as many different leaf or flower shapes as possible.
Experiment with different lighting and conditions. I love backlighting for leaves and flowers, as it creates a luminous, almost three-dimensional effect, and you can see details such as veins. Some shapes look better with strong, directional light, and I love how colours are enhanced in the wet.
Flowers are seasonal, and in temperate zones, spring and summer offer the widest variety. There are still flowers to be found in winter, although you may need to look harder. Don’t forget that weeds, such as dandelions ,are also beautiful! Autumn (fall) provides the greatest colour spectrum in leaves.