Practice Photography in your own Back Yard

by mbgphoto

Your own back yard is a great place to practice your photography skills.

Opportunities to Practice Photography

as close as your own backyard

    I have been taking a class in garden photography that meets once a week.  In between classes I have been longing to get out and practice what I have learned, but I just never seem to get the time.  I was grilling today and looking at the flowers in my back yard and all of a sudden it hit me.  I am missing the best place to practice my photography skills, my own back yard.

     Last week's class focused on closeup photography and on shooting using various apertures to see the different effects that they produce.  In my practice in my back yard, I chose a day that was overcast and had very little breeze.  I set up my tripod without extending the legs so that I could get down low to the ground.  I used the aperture priority setting on my DSLR camera.  

      In my first photos I used an F5.6 aperture.  This setting focuses in on the flower in the foreground. You can see the result in this photo of a evening primrose.

      For the second photo I used a F13 aperture which put more of the photo in focus. You can see the result in the field of primroses below.


Field of Primroses print

Photographing in the Early Morning

practicing photography

     The next two photos are ones that I took in the early morning light.  I got up at 6 am and caught the sun just rising above the horizon and shining through some trees.  The soft glow that the sun provided gave just the right light to capture these flowers.  I hadn't put up my tripod this time so I used an aperture of 5.6 in these two photos.  I had tried a F16 but without a tripod they were not as sharp as they should be.

      These photo's demonstrate another benefit of backyard photography, photographing flowers in various stages.  Both of these flowers were photographed before they were fully in bloom.  The cone flower has just started to bud and the hydrangea is just beginning to open up.  I will come back in a few days and photograph the same blossom again to document how it progresses.

Photographing Cone Flowers

coneflower bud
Coneflower bud
Coneflower bud

Pink Hydrangea

beginning to blossom
Pink Hydrangea
Pink Hydrangea

Benefits of Backyard Photography

practice your photography skills

     There are a lot of benefits to practicing your skills in your own backyard.  Here are some of the ones that I came up with.  If you can think of more please leave a note in the guestbook.

  • You can take the same photo at various times of the day. 
  • You can set up your tripod and leave it up waiting for the right lighting conditions.
  • You can easily go outside right after a rainstorm to get those drops of rain on the flowers.
  • You have easy access to practice in all kinds of weather.
  • If the lighting condition is not just right you can go inside have a cup of coffee and come back when the lighting is better.
  • Last but not least, if you are going for those early morning shots you can just roll out of bed and head for the back yard.  

Learn through Practice

       There is nothing like practice again and again to help you become a better photographer.  The photography workshop series such as the one shown below is a great way to get ideas to help you practice your skill.

Nature Photography Photo Workshop

learn through practice
The Complete Guide to Nature Photography: Professional Techniques f...
Amphoto Books
$26.39  $5.04
Updated: 06/01/2011, mbgphoto
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CruiseReady on 05/18/2015

Thank you so much for your explanation about taking photos in the early morning. I can use all the tips I can get, and this one should be easy for me, since I am usually up before the sun.

ohcaroline on 08/01/2011

Great photography tips. Lighting is so important and starting in the comfort of your own back yard gives you the time and place to practice getting the shots in varying types of light.

Guest on 06/17/2011

I have taken lots of photos in my yard. It is often my starting place. Love your list of benefits - especially the raindrops. (maybe that is because it is raining now, and that gives me an idea :)

GonnaFly on 06/15/2011

Beautiful :-) Backyard photography seems to be like homeschooling - you could even do it in your pyjamas!

lou16 on 06/11/2011

I love your floral photography, I take a number of photos in my back yard as well - usually of wildlife like birds and lizards, I've even captured quite a few of a koala when it visited my front garden.

WebWriter on 06/08/2011

I imagine that taking photos of nature can be relaxing and soothing. Nature has a lot to offer. The photograph of the primrose is beautiful, as with all the photos on this article.

WordCustard on 06/06/2011

I love the examples and tips you've shared with us here. It's true, we don't have to travel miles to find the perfect photographic subject, sometimes it's right outside the door!

CHalloran on 06/05/2011

Beautiful pictures.

sheilamarie on 06/04/2011

Beautiful photos, Mary Beth! I agree with you, often our back yard is the best place to photograph as we "think" we know it so well. Behind the camera, we can see things in a whole new way. I used to use an old 5X7 view camera when I was young and really enjoyed discovering the world that way. Now, sad to say, I'm just a snap happy digital photographer. I miss the old cameras and real film and darkrooms!

whitemoss on 06/03/2011

I rushed out last night to photograph 2 baby blue tits who been just sitting around all afternoon. Where's mom to teach you when you need her?
I always have my camera to hand.

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