02 Shoot painterly plant portraits
By using wide apertures and selective focus – or purposely defocusing the lens entirely – you can create impressionistic photographs of spring. Although this approach can allow you to shoot more freely, finding the right composition isn’t as easy as it looks.
“Experimenting is important; you never know the full potential until you look in the viewfinder,” says Norwegian nature photographer Magnar Børnes.
“I look for simplicity in form and colour, as too many elements can be distracting. I also look for the little twist that makes the photo stand out. It may be a special quality of light in the background, an unusual focus point, strong complementary colours, reflections or an unusual composition that breaks the rules.
“For me, capturing images like these is like playing, but of course there are challenges. I often use a 200mm macro lens at its widest aperture, and it can be a challenge to get the focal point sharp. The photo composition is always a difficult aspect too.
“I see a lot of beautiful items through my viewfinder, but sometimes I just can’t organise them in a way that satisfies me. I may end up with 200 almost-good pictures, and that can be very frustrating! But if you keep on experimenting, sooner or later the good shots will appear.”
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* Use a tripod – it’ll enable you to concentrate on the composition.
* Longer lenses make it easier to control how much of the background appears in a shot.
* For selective focus shots, try positioning the lens close to foreground detail to create a soft frame for the subject.
PAGE 1: Shoot creative spring light painting effects
PAGE 2: Shoot painterly plant portraits
PAGE 3: Shoot the beach during a spring storm
PAGE 4: Shoot zoo animals with environmental context
PAGE 5: Shoot reflections in puddles
PAGE 6: Shoot plane trails
PAGE 7: Shoot portraits with reflections
PAGE 8: Shoot water birds at your local pond
PAGE 9: Shoot images with motion blur
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