Improve Your Photography {by taking advantage of spring}

Spring is in full force here in North Carolina (my deepest apologies to those of you up north still blanketed in snow!) Our family has already enjoyed a number of hikes and we have soaked in the breathtaking beauty of local gardens. We’ve enjoyed mud puddles and tulips, climbing rocks and watching ducks. Spring—my favorite time of year.

Spring is one of my very favorite times to take pictures. Not only does it feel amazing to be outside again after a long winter, but also it is such a great time to dust off or work on photography skills.

There are many great reasons to love photography in the spring and here are my top five.

IT’S JUST RIGHT

Let’s be honest, taking pictures in the winter can be miserable if you are outside for more than a few minutes. Taking photos in the summer can be just as miserable, temperatures raging and sweat dripping on your camera. Practicing photography takes time, often shooting dozens of frames for every image you want to capture. Temperature alone makes spring a great time to get the perfect shot.

NEW LIFE

When I see the first buds of spring, I get excited (too excited if you ask my kids!) But there is something so magical about the way trees and plants go from looking very dead and then miraculously, sometimes overnight, they come back to life! I find metaphors in most everything in life, but the vibrant colors after the long and dull winter find a lot of parallels in life itself. I love taking my camera out and capturing the quickly changing looks of new life.

VIBRANT COLOR

Oh spring, how I love thee! I’m fairly new to North Carolina, but one of the things I love most is that there seems to be something new blooming all the time. Just as soon as I start to feel sad that the Bradford Pears are greening over, the cherry trees and Wisteria come out in all their brilliance. The colors of spring flowers call to me—“Take my picture! Take my picture!” The beautiful spring buds won’t last long, so I try to capture them while I still can.

SPRING LIGHT

As most students of photography know, the best time to take photographs (especially of people) is during the golden hour: the one hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. This special hour offers beautiful warm light that isn’t too harsh. It’s low in the sky and therefore doesn’t cast awful shadows. I love spring the most during the golden hour. Because the trees aren’t done blooming, they allow a much better view of the sunlight. In the summer, the trees can block the sun altogether. But in the spring, the gorgeous oranges and yellows show through the newly budded trees.

I LOVE GREEN

Weird reason, I know. But it’s true…I LOVE green. Almost every photo I have hanging in my house is filled with green. It makes me happy. And the green in spring is a vibrant shade that slowly gives way to the deeper (yet still pretty) darker rich green of summer. The new leaves and needs-to-be-mowed grass this time of year is so cheery, so vibrant. It reminds me so much of the beautiful rice paddies of Indonesia I miss so much. It may not seem like a big deal, but I promise you green is the way to go! As I close, let’s compare a few photos. These are of my sweet daughter Bethany and they were both taken in our yard. The first was in November (hello brown!) and the others were in spring (hello gorgeous!) Now try to tell me green isn’t important!

Go ahead, get out there! Find some flowers willing to pose for you and start snapping. Your photography will benefit and so will your mind and body. Being outdoors does a body good!

So, when is your favorite time to shoot?