I started shooting in manual mode on November 16th 2017. It’s a milestone I remember well because I was so afraid to get off auto mode! Auto mode was a safe space that allowed me to take decent pictures with very little knowledge. Turning the dial to ‘M’ meant coming face to face with all the things I did not know about photography. But since I took that leap, I have not looked back. Shooting in manual mode is such a rush! Learning the basics, shooting every day and creating good photos is an incredible feeling. But of all the concepts that stumped me at the beginning, aperture and depth of field (DOF) were the hardest for me to grasp. So that’s where I want to start in this Brave Manual Mode series and hope that I can help you switch to manual mode faster than I did.
There are a few simple techniques you can use to improve your garden photos, and framing is one of them. Framing refers to using elements within the scene to create a ‘frame’ around your subject. The point of framing is to draw the viewer’s eye into the photo and directly toward your subject. It’s really easy, you’ll see.
A few weeks ago I decided to start shooting with a DSLR 50mm lens that’s been tucked away in my camera bag for months. The lens was an impulse purchase that I had barely touched since I bought it. On this particular day, the sun was shining bright in the garden. I reached for my polarizing filter and attempted to screw it on my lens, but guess what? It didn’t fit. Ugh!!
What is chimping? It’s a simple and kinda funny sounding digital photography term used to describe the habit of immediately checking every shot on the LCD screen right after its captured. So is chimping a good thing or bad? A sign that you’re an amateur photographer, a seasoned pro or somewhere in between? Here’s what I think.
Disclosure: Photowall provided me with a free canvas print in exchange for my honest review of their product.
I love taking photos of my garden. There is something purely magical about slowing down, silencing my mind, and focusing on nothing but the subject in front of me and the connection I feel with it and my camera. Some of my photos are good, others could be better, but it is the zen experience of connecting with nature that truly fills my cup. So far, I’ve only shared my garden photos here on the blog or on my social media. But I recently partnered with Photowall on a project and have since taken a bold leap. Who knows, you may be inspired to leap too.
As gardeners, we are accustomed to moving around plants. On any given day, we may find ourselves kneeling down to pull weeds, bending over to harvest fruit or leaning in close to find pests. So why do we become immobile as photographers? We should be just as active around plants when we have our cameras in tow as when we don’t.