Learn the secret to great garden photos
For this issue’s apprentice feature, N-Photo reader Marilyn Tyzack and pro Philip Smith got together in the wonderful grounds of RHS Wisley to explore photographing gardens. Check out their blooming lovely day…
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has been running for over 200 years, and is the world’s largest gardening charity. The garden at RHS Wisley covers over 240 acres, so provided ample photographic opportunities for Marilyn and Philip. Arriving early in the morning, they picked up their Nikons and went over to their first floral spot to get their eye in.
Technique assessment Aperture-priority
Philip says... I asked Marilyn to get herself set up and show me her first steps. Luckily, her very first step was to choose a setting that I always stick with – aperture-priority. Manual mode is great for those that want full control over the image, but the only setting we’re really going to be changing today is the aperture, to control depth of field. It’s best to keep things as simple as possible and let the camera choose the shutter speed.
Tripod or nopod?
Philip says... I always shoot with a tripod. I’ve made an effort not to rely on it as much recently but I find this very restrictive because handholding the camera forces you to change your approach to shutter speed. Marilyn finds the opposite is true, and told me, “I don’t like to be tied down to one spot, I feel it limits me.” I encouraged Marilyn to use her tripod for most shots so we could make fine adjustments to composition without affecting our sharpness with slower shutter speeds.
Philip says... Because I mostly work on a tripod I never have to worry about sensor sensitivity (ISO), so I keep it at its lowest setting (100) to produce the cleanest image possible. Marilyn was shooting at ISO200, which doesn’t make much of a difference, but since we were putting her Nikon on a tripod, I said we might as well use the lowest possible ISO to create the best quality pictures.