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How to photograph Spring Flowers

Spring is a fantastic time of year to get outdoors with your camera as nature is bursting with so much energy and colour. A walk in the woods in springtime will reveal a myriad of wild flowers, our gardens and parks will have plenty of subjects to photograph too.

flower photography workshop Allium ursinum Wild Garlic Ramsons in woodland Sroud Gloucestershire dawn woods forest wildflowers trees medicinal herb edible

Photograph from: The Medicine Garden: Author: Rachel Corby

 

With the advent of digital photography and phones with cameras  we are all photographers, but what makes one photograph really stand out from the others? The answer to that is there is no single correct way to photograph flowers, however, certain elements do have to be taken into consideration to make a great shot.

Firstly before you start, in your cameras settings, select the highest possible resolution. This will give you clearer detail in your photographs, enabling the image to be used larger without signs of bluriness or noise.
Time of day is an important consideration when taking your photographs, the early bird really does catch the worm! Harsh midday sun makes most subjects look unflattering. Early morning or late afternoon are the best times of day as the light is warmer, less harsh and the colours of the plants look richer. Mornings also tend to be more still, flowers are hard to photograph when they are moving around too much. Windy days are the toughest to photograph flowers on, unless you choose to use the blur creatively with a slower shutter speed.

Bluebells, (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) flower photography workshops Gloucestershire

Weather. Most people are surprised to hear that overcast days can be very beneficial for garden and flower photography. This is because clouds act as a perfect light diffuser, creating even lighting and saturation without the worry of harsh highlights or shadows.

Bluebells, (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) flower photography workshops Gloucestershire

Consider your subject before rushing to photograph it. Walk around and see what you are drawn to, see how the light plays on the flowers. Think about your composition, how is the subject going to fill the frame? Backlit flowers will always look good if the petals are transluscent as it accentuates the colours of the petals, giving off a luminesence and showing off the patterns. Don`t be afraid to try out different angles, getting down to the same height as a flower is very effective, or look up to flowers from below them.

Meconopsis Sheldonii Lingholm - Himalayan Blue Poppy

The background of your photograph is very important as untidy, busy, cluttered backgrounds kill a shot as the viewers eye gets distracted away from the subject. If there are shadows use them to make the flower stand out, or move in closer to the subject.

Aquilegia

For close ups I would always recommend the use of a tripod, they allow you to frame the flower perfectly and keep the image sharp. Also look at the flower to see it is free of blemishes or missing petals.

Iris close up

If you do hand hold your camera, as a very general rule of thumb with a standard lens 1/60th of a second is the minimum shutter speed to use, with longer lenses such as a 200mm look around 1/250th of a second to avoid camera shake. For checking correct exposure always check your histogram not the LCD preview.

Galanthus Nivalis - Snowdrops;

Snowdrops: 1/60s  f11

Finally break the rules, experiment and have fun, try out new angles and backgrounds, you might be surprised with the results you obtain.

Allium Purple Sensation

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ photographed against the sun, post processed in Lightroom.

Try out different processes such as black and white such as the photograph below of a tulip.

Homage to Edward Weston Stephen Studd IGPOTY

Homage to Edward Weston – 3rd place IGPOTY : Monochrome

When photographing wildflowers be careful not to tread on other flowers, leave them just as you found them for insects and others to enjoy.

flower photography workshop Allium ursinum Wild Garlic Ramsons in woodland Sroud Gloucestershire dawn woods forest wildflowers trees medicinal herb edible

Wild Garlic (Ramsons) © Stephen Studd Photography for BBC Gardeners World.


I  am running bluebell flower photography workshops in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire in May: further details can be found here: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


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Flower photography workshops

Great to see my flower photography workshops were featured in the Sunday Times.

Bluebell woods flower photography workshopsin Gloucestershire UK England garlic woods Stroud hosted by Stephen Studd photography

 

This spring I have some bluebell woods

Bluebells flower photography workshop and courses in the UK England, Forest of Dean Gloucestershire digital photography holidays tours workshops holidays vacations

 

and wild garlic woods

flower photography workshops Wild Garlic (Ramsons) in wood Stroud Gloucestershire Digital photography holidays courses tours workshops

photography workshops in the Forest  of Dean  and Stroud, Gloucestershire. Full details can be found on my website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Sunday Times article by Wellywoman blog


Keep in touch:

Websites:

My travel and garden photography website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

My travel photography holidays & UK photography workshops website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


Social Media:

Facebook:

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https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays

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Travel photography holidays

This month my travel photography holidays have been featured in Practical Photography magazines Holidays & Courses Directory. It was great to see the portrait of the Hmong girl from Vietnam on the front cover.

Digital photography holidays vacations tours workshops to Myanmar, (Burma), Cambodia Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Morocco Marrakech and the Gower, Wales 2015 and 2016 hosted by Stephen Studd

The travel photography holidays that I host to Burma, Vietnam, Angkor Wat Cambodia and Marrakech were in the directory.

Stephen Studd hosting Digital travel photography holidays vacations tours workshops to Myanmar, (Burma), Cambodia Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Morocco Marrakech and the Gower, Wales 2015 and 2016

Also my UK landscape and flower photography workshops.

Stephen Studd hosting Digital travel photography holidays vacations tours workshops to Myanmar, (Burma), Cambodia Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Morocco Marrakech and the Gower, Wales in 2015 and 2016

I also run private 1:1 photography workshops throughout the year, both in the UK and abroad.

The first of my UK workshops starts in April and May 2016 with the Bluebell Woods in the Forest of Dean.

Bluebells flower photography workshop digital photography holidays tours workshops holidays vacations

This is one of my favourite times of year when the beech woods come alive with carpets of bluebells.

I hope everyone gets time to go out with their cameras and capture the beauty of our planet wherever you are.

NEW DATES FOR APRIL AND MAY 2016 are on the website:

Websites:

My travel photography holidays & UK photography workshops website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

My travel and garden photography website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com


Social Media:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays

https://www.facebook.com/stephenstuddphotography

Twitter

www.twitter.com/PhotographyHols

www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google +

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IGPOTY Awards 2015; Behind the Photos

 

 

The International Garden Photographer of the Year awards have just been announced, I was Commended in the Beautiful Gardens category for this shot of Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco.

Morocco marrakech travel photography holidays workshops tours

Morocco, Marrakech, Jardin Majorelle (Yves Saint Laurent Garden)

I visited the garden a number of times as I was in Marrakech 10 days early before guests turned up for a photography city break I run there. The garden is a photographers dream with its bold colours and planting. The cobalt blue walls are a great backdrop to any plants in pots. The plant in this pot was just catching some sunlight giving depth to the composition.

I also converted it to black and white, and was going to send this one instead as I liked the simplicity of the shot.

Which one do you prefer?

marrakech Morocco Jardin majorelle digital photography holidays tours and workshops

I was also Highly Commended in the Monochrome category for this shot of Chitting Potatoes.

Potatoes chitting by stephen studd Photography

Chitting Potatoes

This was taken with my 100mm Canon macro lens, shot in a north facing window in natural light. It was the two shoots that caught my eye as they looked like weird alien cartoon characters. Even from the simplest of subjects you can find something to photograph with the macro lens.

Congratulations to Magdalena Wasiczek for her overall winning shot: The Ballerinas

To see all the awards for this year follow this link

My websites: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Travel photography holidays & UK flower photography workshops: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com including City Break to Marrakech & Atlas Mountains.


Social Media:

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Bluebells and Wild Garlic woods flower photography workshops May 2015

I will be hosting two photography workshops in May 2015 to two of my favourite woodlands for wild flower photography.

The bluebells in the Forest of Dean are one of natures wonders, a sea of blue under the fresh green canopy of beech leaves.

Bluebells photography workshop 2014 Digital photography holidays holiday tour tours hosted by Stephen Studd

Bluebell woods, Gloucestershire

Bluebells photography workshop 2014 Digital photography holidays holiday tour tours hosted by Stephen Studd

The wild garlic flowers in the woodlands around Stroud in Gloucestershire carpet the woodland floor like snow and often deer can be seen in the dawn light. For this photography workshop there will be a maximum of 6 guests.

Wild Garlic (Ramsons) in wood Stroud Gloucestershire Digital photography holidays courses tours workshops

Wild garlic woods Stroud

These workshops are for all levels of photographer with small group sizes.

For more information on dates and booking please visit my website www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


For photography commissions my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

I also run small group travel photography holidays and flower photography workshops www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

I am represented by GAP Photos for my garden photography and Getty Images and Robert Harding for my travel photography.

Social Media:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-Studd-Photography/387939741345414

Twitter

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www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+Stephenstuddphotography


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Snowdrops, Rococo Garden, Painswick, Gloucestershire

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Close up detail of snowdrop

This is an update from my blog entry last week on the snowdrops.
 

 Setting off this morning and seeing the thermometer in the car at -7C I knew I was in store for a cold one. Driving to Painswick Rococo Garden with the most layers on so far this winter I felt like the Michelin man. Despite the cold, the light when it is so crisp I really love, it has such clarity and warm tones. Everything feels so fresh and clear, even your thoughts.

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire
Snowdrops backlit.
This morning I was lucky in that the air was still as I needed some close ups. When working with a macro lens, snowdrop flower heads move with even the slightest whisp of air movement, so are always tricky to capture a sharp image.
Today especially I really wanted it to be still as I was using the 180mm macro, which shows up any tiny movement. Even managed to shoot with 1/15th sec exposures! (Don`t try this at home unless you have a steady tripod).
 
 It was far colder than when I was here last week when there was snow on the ground. Today my hands were sticking to the tripod and dials harder to use than normal, but worth it.
Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Sweeping vista of bank of snowdrops

 The light for me was perfect and the air still, the snowdrops looked like iridescent fairy lanterns lighting up the woods.

On my way home listening to the radio it seems we are in for another cold night.  If you get chance to visit the gardens, then enjoy that crisp, clear, clean winter air that we seem to have avoided so far.

On Radio 4 I heard that on Candlemass/ Groundhog day, there is a saying that if a hedgehog casts a shadow on that day, it means 6 more weeks of winter! Keep warm wherever you are.

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Snowdrops at Painswick Rococo Garden

 

I am leading Garden and Flower Photography workshops at Painswick Rococo Gardens through the seasons. Please see my website for further details (there is a discount for RHS members) www.stephenstuddphotography.com
 
 
 


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Garden, Plant and Flower photography workshops 2012

Allium Purple Sensation against sun

Allium Purple Sensation against sun

 So another year has begun 2012. Last year seemed to whizz by, a very busy one for myself. Was really pleased with the awards received for my photography. Would also like to thank all the amazing people I worked with in 2011, such spirited passionate horticulturists are always a pleasure to meet. The shows I attended last year were excellent and one always walks away from them with great new ideas.

My allotment produced lots of food with no major glut, except for fruit, which filled the freezer which I am working through in these exceptionally mild winter months.

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana

2012 sees me teaming up with Painswick Rococo Gardens, near Stroud in Gloucestershire for some garden photography workshops. There are still places left on the 1 day Garden, Plant and flower Photography workshops.

Dates are;

Saturday March 24th

Saturday May 19th

Saturday July 19th

Saturday September 22nd

This will give a good cross section of seasons. There is lots to photograph at the magical Rococo Gardens. Group size is limited to 5 people maximum.

Price for the day includes all tuition, tea/coffee home made biscuits on arrival, 2 course lunch and tea/coffee and cake in the afternoon.

Further details can be found at; http://www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Heres to a fruitful year in 2012 in all that we do.