Better Plant and Garden Photography by Philip Smith

Plants really are the best subjects for photographs. They are beautiful, patient, intricate, colourful, structural, textured. If you agree, you’ve still got four hours to enter your photos in our photography competition. One of the prizes that is on offer to each category winner is a copy of Better Plant and Garden Photography by Philip Smith, which will take you to the next dizzy heights of photography.

Why do I know this? Well, I’ve read it. This book will teach you how to become a technically adept photographer, how to use your camera, your lenses, and the light.

Using examples from professional and award-winning garden photographers, Smith guides readers through how to frame a picture, how to use the light, and using colour.

The chapter on light is particularly useful. Here’s an extract, just to whet your appetite:

Backlight and angled light create drama and atmosphere, drawing the viewer into the image.

Rim light is the most extreme form of backlight where the sun is directly behind the subject.

Early morning light creates the best opportunities to use backlight since the sun is low and can be behind your subject. However, it can be cold and dull unless the weather is right.

Evening light delivers warm light with depth and atmosphere. Overcast cloud is great for horticultural detailed close-up images and for picking out delicate shades and textures.

Sunshine overhead is often great for insect shots, since the brightness allows for fast shutter speeds. However, it can create deep shadows that interfere with the shape and colour of plant portraits.

The problem is, all the photos in this book are so stunning that I find myself forgetting to read the text…

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