Spring presents photographers with best season

Picture Perfect with Theresa Mullins-Low

Picture Perfect with Theresa Mullins-Low

Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, and I must add, many of them really early. Our official date for spring was March 20, but signs of spring have been showing since mid-February. In Louisiana whether you photograph landscapes, flowers, or wildlife, a photographer’s absolute best season is spring. One may take advantage of the cool weather with our impressive landscapes and our flowers that are shown in bright vivid colors throughout the day. Also birds are building their nest. I was in my kayak at Lake Martin in February and the birds were busy building their nests.
A successful day of photography begins before sunrise. We’re in Daylight Savings Time now, so sunrise in April is later than it was in March, but it is progressively coming sooner. By April 8th, sunrise is around 6:45; by Easter (April 16) it’s 6:35, and by the end of the month, it’s 6:20. Try to get your targeted shots before 10 a.m. because of softer light and more vivid colors. However, don’t stop then! Continue through the midday and then at sunset you will get that warm soft glow again. A tripod is useful to get the slower shutter speeds and the necessary light for a sharp image during lower light times.
Those midday images may just be what you want to convert to black and white especially in the summer months when the sun is really bright. Midday will give you those extremes – the brightest whites and longest shadows which can make for very impressive black and whites. If you find yourself shooting in the midday, zoom in with your lens. This will eliminate most of the sun’s harsh lighting and the extreme contrast that may show unwanted shadows. You may choose to place your subject or find a subject such as a flower or statue in front of a dark or shady area. This works great for people, too, or place people under an overhang.

birdMidday shots are also great when you are exploring in your favorite park or wooded area. Take a shot of that sun peeping behind the tree. Be mindful of lens flare, but please don’t totally eliminate those shadows. Photography is all about light. Learning about light is also recognizing the shadows which give emphasis to our subject and may show emotion in our images.
Have you purchased your camera? If not before you buy, consider how often you will be using the camera, consider the use of your camera, and your budget. If you are going to print large photos then more megapixels should be a major consideration. If photography is your newfound hobby then you will want to consider a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera with interchangeable lens which usually offers more accurate viewing. Do your homework. Read books and talk to friends who have the same level of interest in photography as you before your purchase.
Landscapes often times are taken at aperture f/8 to f/16; the smaller the aperture (larger number) may give more details provided you use a tripod for that slower shutter speed.

This information is provided by Theresa Mullins-Low, Louisiana Photographic Society. The next meeting of the Society is April 20, 2017, 7 p.m. at the Goodwood Library’s, first floor conference room, Baton Rouge, and is held the third Thursday of each month. April’s speakers, Greg Doucet from Renaissance Imaging, and Cathy Sherburne from Acadian Frame & Art, will discuss choices we photographers can make as we prepare our prints and fine art for framing. Greg and Cathy will also talk about new printing and framing options that are available. Visit the website at www.laphotosociety.com

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