A Mobiographer’s Journey From Analog to iPhone
A couple of years ago, mobiographer Erica “Spin” Simas moved…
Springtime is about emergence, whether you’re in the midst of nature or live surrounded by the energy of a major city. People spend hours outside for the first time in months, new businesses cut their ribbons, babies feel the grass under their toes for the first time. Take yourself on a photo tour during the spring to capture the feeling of newness you’ve been waiting for since last year and take advantage of these tips for spectacular spring photos this season.
When you think of spring, the first visual image to come to mind is likely blooming flowers. While flowers make colorful and delightful photography subjects, the springtime has so much more to offer: dogs barking in the park, people letting the sunshine hit their face, checker games in the center of town, family picnics. Remind yourself of how you spent your time as a child during the spring.
Did you hop on a bike and pedal fast down your block, thankful that the ice was finally gone? Did you take a day trip to the zoo to see the animals enjoying the warm weather? Did you pile into the car with your family for the first road trip of the year? If you have children, take them along with you as you search for inspiration. Kids are natural explorers and they’ll notice details you might miss.
If you’re going to photograph flowers as part of your springtime portfolio, make the image more interesting by leaving the horizon out. Get down low and shoot upwards to capture the flowers tall against the sky. This is a good rule of thumb to apply to any spring scene. When you spot a seasonal detail, like trees, plants or animals, look beyond them to take in the background. By using the elements in the foreground as well as the landscape beyond, your photo will have more depth.
The great thing about shooting during the spring is that you have more light throughout the day; there’s nothing better than natural light when setting up a shot. Bright sun means harsh shadows, though. When possible, shoot during the golden hour, which is the hour or so around sunrise and sunset.
If you’re going to shoot spring photos midday, an overcast sky is best because you won’t capture harsh shadows. You can also search for shady areas where the light is filtered. Another trick is to use the phone’s flash in bright sunlight, which can illuminate the shadowy areas. Of course, you can always go the abstract route and purposely capture the shadows.
Adjusting exposure, shooting in HDR mode and making post-shooting edits are three ways to bring out springtime colors. If there’s a lot of contrast in the scene you’re shooting, HDR will help you get the clearest shot possible. If you’re still having trouble capturing the colors you see, invest in a polarizing filter, like this (we don’t have personal experience with it, but it’s the highest rated polarizing filter for mobile phones on Amazon), which is especially great for nature and landscape shots. The filter changes how your camera reads the light, including glare and reflections, which can make colors more vibrant.
The small details that surround you in the spring are great for close-ups. Get your camera as close to the subject as possible. Tap the part of the photo that you want to focus on – choose a small area, since the depth of field is going to be shallow. If you have trouble focusing, try moving the camera back a tiny bit or put your hand behind the subject for a moment, which should force the camera to focus on the subject. Lock the focus and keep the camera as steady as possible while shooting.
During your travels, you may come across a perfect springtime landscape that you absolutely love. Consider returning every month or season to photograph its progression through the year. When the following spring comes around, you can reflect back on all the changes it went through.