Lighting and Time of Day

Photography is about timing within the actual shot (exposure) and the time the shot is taken. Timing and light are key. For me nothing is better than morning light on a moderately overcast day. Bright fog is also magical. Sunrise, sunset and Overcast days are wonderful for garden and flower photography. I combine the soft light of an overcast day with a polarizing filter for extra rich colors, micro contrast and saturation. I rarely take the polarizer off my camera.

Back-light can be helpful for garden pictures. Back-light combined with soft diffuse low angles light is like having a beauty light combined with a hair light kicker. The back-light creates separation between the subject and the background. The low angle of the front light reduces shadows.

Timing for the best light and peak seasons in the garden takes time, patience and often many visits.

The planned and beautifully shot garden pictures that you see in garden magazines are not captured at high noon but often shot in early morning. The book “Gardens at First Light” by Stacy Bass and Judy Ostrow, is a great reference for beautiful garden pictures.

The book is available here:

Some pictures from the book:

The tradition of garden photography and gardens is particularly strong in England. Our climate in the Pacific Northwest is similar to that of England. It is worth trying to emulate some of the successful approaches here. Soft morning light is magical and early evening also has great light.