Tips and Suggestions

This is the Garden Express 2007 Spring Garden Photo Competition. Entrants need to be Garden Express Forum members. Please refer to the Competition Terms & Conditions and the specific Judging Criteria and Prize announcements. Entries closed November 30th 2007, winners announced.

Tips and Suggestions

Postby ian » Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:14 pm

Here are some tips and suggestions from the Garden Express team that reflect their photography experience and what influences the judges decisions:

1. Avoid taking photos in bright sunlight. Overcast (but dry) days usually give the best results and early or late in the day may provide suitable light conditions. Where possible ensure the background is not brighter than the subject making it harder to see.

2. Be careful with the use of flash photography, generally it can be used to supplement natural light rather than replace it to avoid unnatural colours and contrasts between the subject and its background.

3. Many plants look better in the morning than in the afternoon, particularly if the day is hot. Keep in mind that some flowers may not be fully open very first thing in the morning. If unsure take several photos at different times of the day then select the best to enter.

4. Avoid distracting items in the photo such as sticks, garden hoses, dead leaves, unappealing backgrounds etc that take away from the subject. Also avoid background that make it hard to see the subject because it is the same colour or very bright.

5. When submitting entries avoid the use of special effects and features such as date & time stamps on the image.

6. Don't submit several photos of exactly the same object, select what you think is the best image to ensure your good photos is not lost amongst the less appealing photos. This doesn't apply to photos taken from significantly different perspectives if the photos have quite different looks about them and you feel they are equally good.

7. Ensure the subject is in focus. Where possible use a tripod to ensure the best result. If there are several objects in the photo and all cannot be in focus then ensure the primary object is in focus.

8. Try and achieve a balanced look with the photo and don't zoom in too closely. It is better to have some extra content in your photo than be too close as if we use your photos we can crop it but can't add what is not there.

9. Generally try taking your photo from the perspective of someone standing normally in the garden rather than from extreme angles such as above or close to the ground. This isn't always possible such as with flowers that are close to the ground or hang down etc. If in doubt use common sense.

Forum members are sure to have other tips and suggestions they can add to this list.
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