10 Tips and Ideas for Your Spring Photography

Marianne Stenger
1st March 2020

Spring is now in full bloom and there are signs of new life cropping up everywhere after the long winter, from sunny yellow daffodils and colourful tulips to pretty pink and white blossoms. 

Of course, as the days slowly get warmer and longer, photographers will also be spending more of their time outdoors as they capture the spring colours and blooms. So here are some tips and ideas for making the most of this time of year.

Images © Aaron Burden

1. Be prepared

Ideally, you’d be heading out to photograph nature with clear skies and sunshine, but since spring weather can still be unpredictable, it’s best to be prepared. To start, wear protective clothing like a raincoat and rubber boots or waterproof shoes in case you need to cross muddy terrain or wade through puddles to get in closer to your subject.

A waterproof bag or cover is also important for keeping your gear safe in case of unexpected rain showers, and if you intend to shoot on a rainy day, an umbrella may be a good idea.

Images © Aaron Burden

2. Use a polarising filter

Spring is all about the vibrant colours, so you’ll want to make sure those greens, yellows, pinks and blues stand out in your photographs. Using a polarising filter is an inexpensive way to prevent unwanted glare and reflections, and it can also increase contrast and saturation.

This is particularly useful when you want a clear blue sky to stand out against a green meadow or colourful field of flowers. Circular polarising filters can be fitted to the front of your lens and then rotated to adjust the intensity of the effect.

3. Check your white balance

Another way to make sure the spring colours are well represented in your photos is to check your white balance settings before you start shooting. Because different types of light have different characteristics, colours could end up looking more green, blue or orange than they do in reality. If you want to know more about white balance and how to adjust it, check out our essential photography tips for beginners.

4. Look for lines, shapes, or patterns

If you want to take landscape shots, keep an eye out for lines, shapes, or patterns that will make your photograph more aesthetically pleasing. For example, you might notice a perfect line of trees, a symmetrical row of spring flowers, or even interesting shapes and patterns created by branches and tree blossoms. You can also try to frame your landscape images using things like arches, hedges, doorways, and branches.

5. Play with depth of field

If you’re using your camera in manual or aperture priority mode, it can be fun to play around with the depth of field to get different types of photographs of the same scene. For example, if you want to photograph a field of flowers, you could use a wider aperture or lower f number such as 3.5 or 2.8 to focus on just one flower while blurring the background. Alternatively, you could use a narrower aperture or higher f number such as 11 or 22 to photograph the whole field of flowers and make sure everything appears in focus.  

Images © Aaron Burden

6. Look for reflections

Reflections can also add interest and drama to your photos, whether it’s the reflection of a flowering tree in a placid lake or a child’s face reflected in a puddle of water on a muddy path. If you’re shooting street scenes in the city, you can look for things buildings or car mirrors that show the reflection of the trees or spring flowers that are coming to life.

7. Try some different angles

Another way to photograph the same scene in a few different ways is to change your perspective and try some different angles. For example, you could try getting down low so you’re at eye level or even looking up to your subject. Alternatively, you could change things up by finding a higher vantage point such as the top of a hill or a flight of steps.

Images © J Lee

8. Add something of interest in the foreground

Landscape shots can sometimes end up looking a bit similar, so adding something of interest in the foreground is a great way to bring them to life. For example, a flowering hedge, row of daffodils, or a moss-covered log surrounded by bluebells could add some colour to your photograph and emphasise the fact that it was taking during springtime.

9. Keep it simple

When photographing a scene where a lot is going on, like a field full of flowers or a cluster of trees in a forest, it’s easy for the final image to end up looking a bit cluttered. But remember that if everything is important, nothing will stand out. To avoid this, you need to have a clear idea of what your subject is. You can then think about how to use contrast, composition and leading lines to emphasise this subject, whether it’s a squirrel or a particularly majestic tree.

Images © Aaron Burden

10. Think beyond flowers

Although flowers and blossoms tend to be one of the first things that come to mind when one thinks about spring, you don’t have to limit yourself to photographing trees and flowers.

There are many other things that are equally representative of this time of year, from fuzzy ducklings and playful squirrels to people sitting outdoors enjoying the first warmer days of the year. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get creative with your spring photography. 

Images © J Lee

Looking for ideas on where to go for your springtime photo shoots? Check out this list we compiled with some of the best UK nature walks for photographing spring blooms.