This is how to take amazing photos of plants and gardens, according to an expert

    This is how to take amazing photos of plants and gardens, according to an expert

    By Hannah Stephenson. Published 2021-01-13


    Want to improve your garden photography? An RHS competition judge shares insider tips

    How do you improve your winter shots? Chris Young, who has chaired the judging panel and editor of RHS members’ magazine The Garden, says: “Choose the right day and the right light levels, and stunning images can be taken. Focus on what you want to achieve in your image – a large-scale statement or close-up detail – and think of the colour combinations, as well as how the different focus can change the feeling to a photograph.”Here, he talks us through why these three garden photos work so well…

    1. The essence of a garden

    embedded166607.jpg“This shot of our RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex shows the stark outline of the different forms and shapes of plants in January. With winter stripping back some of the leaves and many of the flowers, we are left with a composition of foliage, spent flowerheads, stone boulders and the rolling landscape in the background. Even though some of the plants look like they should be in a warm climate (the palm for example), there is a clear chill to the shot. Using the camera in landscape form widens the horizon of the shot and ensures the maximum view is taken.”

    2. Colour your senses

    embedded166618.jpg“Winter doesn’t mean ‘no flowers’. There are many jewels in the plant crown at this time of year, including iris. This bulbous Iris reticulata ‘Pixie’ is a small plant often used in winter walks – as can be here at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Yorkshire. This image ensures the focus is on the deep purple flowers, blessed with yellow splashes of colour, while the foliage in front and behind is out of focus. This centres all attention on the clump of flowers and brings their welcome joy to the viewer.”

    3. Not just plants

    embedded166637.jpg“The trusty robin always makes a picture-perfect subject for a photograph. By creating a shallow depth of field around the subject, we can focus all our interest on the robin sitting atop a spent seedhead. The background is a muted colour, while the orange of the birds’ breast tonally links to the browns behind.”

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