This year I've sorted my photos chronologically starting inside with my Orchids and then moving outside with the spring flowers. Last year I missed photographing my spring flowers while waiting for better weather. This year I almost missed them again as the hot spring shortened their blooms.
I've learned you will miss out on photographs if you wait for the perfect bloom on the perfect day. The sun, clouds, wind, and even temperature will interfere with good photographs. A perfect day would be hazy clouds at 10 am., no wind and a temperature in the mid-70s after a couple days of light rain. But when does that ever happen? And if it did, you know the flowers would be past their peak or too early. This year I tried to photography whatever I could; whenever I could. I used my white umbrella as a scrim if the sun was too harsh. Sometimes I would return later in the day for the sun to move into a better angle. I occasional would use a spray bottle to give flower petals that fresh dew look.
My go-to lens is a Sony 30mm Macro lens. A Macro lens lets you get very close to the blooms. I occasional use a Sigma 10-20mm ultra-wide zoom lens to get the entire garden in frame. I occasionally use a 50mm or 85mm lens when I wanted a different look. Even my Sony 70-200mm will get used if I want a compressed look.
I usually shoot at ISO 400 at ƒ8.0 in Aperture Priority Mode; checking that my shutter speed is high enough to deal with any wind. Even a slight wind can ruin a photo if the bloom is small enough. Occasional I will adjust the F-stop lower if I need a shallow depth of field. I also shoot RAW rather than JPEG because I always edit my photos.
In the front yard I cleaned the pea gravel bed. I created a temporary Marigold garden.
In the backyard I filled the East Raised Bed with my Zinnias overflow. I cleaned 2 of 3 sections of the deck pea gravel bed. One was reseeded with grass. One became a raised gravel bed surrounded with a retaining wall. In the fall I extended the fence garden so I could transplant some day lilies. I also cleared the rock around my apple tree; making it easier to water.
© Craig Maas