By Dawn Weber
Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter
The most recent photography tip was about keeping the photographer and camera still while shooting, which is very important, but what if it’s the subject that is moving?
Mother Nature blesses me with lots of good things in the garden, but sometimes the weather, particularly wind, is not my friend. A moving subject at the time of the snap, unless intentionally planned, does not usually make for a good photo.
I try to block the wind, with a piece of cardboard, a vehicle, a person, whatever is around. That said, it is important to find a balance between having enough light on the subject and the method used to prevent movement. No wind and no light is also not an ideal situation.
When possible, I try a different direction or angle of shooting to see which way has the least amount of wind impact. Remember digital film is cheap and no one has to see what didn’t work.
I create a way to hold the plant still, where the “holder” could be a clamp (both commercial and homemade versions can help), maybe some logs, sticks, rocks, or even a person. I can usually get an angle and composition that does not include or emphasize the “holder”.
I look around for a similar subject in a slightly different setting, where perhaps the blooms are closer to the ground, the plant has a shorter stem, or the subject is located in a more protected area.
Sometimes I just have to wait for less wind. A day when there are 20 mph wind gusts is not necessarily ideal for photos, but a lull can occur, and I can sneak in some photos. On other days, the wind is more gentle but constant, and it just isn’t suitable for photography unless I use one of the mentioned techniques.
If the plant is mine and I have some to spare, I take a cutting and go inside to photograph. This is usually my last resort, only used when I don’t have the luxury of waiting for the weather to turn around, or I think that the weather will potentially take away the opportunity completely.
Note that the contest does have specific photo-size requirements. If you need assistance resizing your photos, reach out to Dawn via the Contact Us page to let her know that you could use some help.
Next tip: Try a new angle
Previous tips in the series:
- Photography tip #1 – Sometimes close is too close
- Photography tip #2 – Macro mode for close-ups
- Photography tip #3 – Ready, steady, go!
[Editor’s Note: Member Dawn Weber’s photo of wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) guttation, titled “Under Pressure” won “People’s Choice” for the Wild Ones 2015 photo contest.]