Ah, the changing of the seasons. For us photographers, most seasonal changes bring about opportunities to take great photos under differing conditions, and usually no change is more dramatic than the transition from winter to spring. The world thaws into a new and color-dripped landscape, ripe for capturing its natural beauty through springtime photography.
Photo by Barbara Florczyk
There is always an influx of changes to flora and fauna, and a burst of color is injected into the landscape. There really is no better time to get out there and start shooting, so come out of hibernation and walk with us as we explore eight solid reasons to be excited about the coming spring and what it can do for your landscape and nature photography!
1. The Color Comes Back
The most dramatic change that occurs between winter and spring for some of us is our actual surroundings. For everyone except most of the deep south, snowy and wintery landscapes melt away into fresh greenery, completely changing what we see. Temperatures rise enough to allow us to stand being outdoors long enough to capture the images we want to get.
Photo by Dermit McElduff
For us in the south, the change isn’t as dramatic, but temperatures get more comfortable and allow for longer outdoor sessions.
Blinding whites and grays are exchanged for greens, yellows, pinks, oranges and reds. Welcome back, color!
2. Flora (Flowers)
After being covered in snow and ice, or killed off by the harsh temperatures, plant life and flowers come alive in springtime. At no point through the year are their colors more vibrant than during the spring, allowing for some awesome macro photos.
Local parks and gardens are great places to capture these, and they serve as great locations for outdoor portraits. Daisies, azaleas, and forget-me-nots are some varieties that commonly blossom in the spring.
You don’t have to find a garden or park for these, however, since spring will bring the blooming of flowers all over your area, whether it be a picturesque rural area or a city environment.
3. Fauna (Wildlife)
Despite the hibernation reference in the introductory paragraph, I’m not just talking about bears here (and I don’t think I could even recommend that type of photography anyway with a clear conscience). Springtime brings out many species of animals, from squirrels, deer and rabbits to ducks, eagles and other birds.
Photo by Irene Mei
Many animals do lie dormant for the winter and emerge for food or breeding during the spring, so local parks, ponds and forests are likely to be full of critters ready for you to point your camera at.
4. Longer Days
Between March and April each year, most of us in the Northern Hemisphere begin Daylight Savings Time, adding to the daylight we have until the next time change the following fall.
Obviously, longer days mean more time to take photos throughout the day and give those of us that hold other jobs during the day more time in the evenings to shoot.
Just as a side note – many people agree that there is a slight color difference in natural light during the spring, namely that, due to the angle of the sun in the sky, the light tends to be a bit on the cool side. This may need to be adjusted by a warming filter or adjustments in post-processing.
5. Seasonal Foods and Fruits
For us here on the west coast of Florida, one of the best things about the spring is being able to stay out all morning during the weekend farmer’s markets held downtown. A plethora of food, fruits and vegetables for sale also provide a perfect subject for photography.
Photo by Tim Gilbreath
Gardens, farms and parks with fruit-bearing trees are great locations for macro photography, as are roadside stands selling watermelon (they don’t necessarily wait for the summer down here), peaches and apples. Not only do you have great photo opportunities waiting, you get the chance to get out and experience the things that make your local area great!
6. Water, Rain and Waterfalls
When the snow and ice thaw in the northern states, they have to go somewhere. Melting snow contributes to ponds, lakes and other natural features on the landscape. Small waterfalls will flow from the influx of water, and melting icicles can be a perfect subject for a photo showing the transition between seasons.
Spring also brings the best chance for rain showers, thunderstorms, lightning and other natural weather events. Be careful, you aspiring storm chasers, but don’t let a little rain prevent you from capturing the unbelievable beauty Mother Nature has to offer.
7. Outdoor Events
Humans tend to come outdoors more often when temperatures rise (Google it!), and that means more events. The aforementioned farmer’s markets, concerts and festivals are all prime locations for your photography, as well as marking the beginning of the wedding season; these of course are accompanied by engagement photo shoots.
Photo by Tim Gilbreath
At this time of the year, we’re also looking towards the fast-approaching graduation ceremonies for seniors, including senior pictures. Get out there and take advantage!
8. Try Out That New Equipment
Finally, if you live in the northern states, you might have gotten a killer piece of equipment over the holidays, whether it be a new camera body, a new lens, filters or, finally, a steady tripod. As beautiful as winter photography can be, sometimes it’s just not feasible to shoot many photos in the extreme cold.
Therefore, spring can provide the first opportunity to bring your new toys out into the wild for their first real use.
So there you have it, just a few reasons to get out there this spring and start shooting. Of course, there are plenty of other subjects to shoot this time of year, but half of the fun is discovering these things yourself…so go exploring, and have fun!