Mo’s Garden Photo Tip: It’s The Light!

Want to know why English gardens always look so good? Soft light ensures that the subtle hues of these succulents and associated stones are all fully saturated with color. It’s because the weather in England during the summer is perfect for great photography. They say it rains almost every day, which means the residual overcast softens the sunlight like a pane of frosted glass. This allows a photograph to be evenly illuminated, shadow free, and the colors are intensely saturated for that eye-popping image that jumps off a magazine page. In America the summer light can be far more harsh, shining uninhibited through clear skies. When this “hard” light strikes a plant leaf or flower it bounces off – so the camera cannot “see” its color. Plus, the shadow cast by that leaf or anything else for that matter turns jet black. The combination of glare and black creates high contrast pictures with very little color or what pros call minimal color saturation. Hard light burned away the suble coloration of stone making black shadows the dominant elements of this composition.

This illustrates why weather is so crucial to garden photography. There’s virtually no way to mitigate the high contrast effects of hard light, so on those days it can be futile to expect even a handfull of usable shots. Professionals must wait for a narrow window of soft light at dusk and dawn to capture their images with quality light. You may be surprised to learn that shooting in the rain is far more preferable to shooting on a crystal clear sunny day!

Read Mo’s article: Zooming In On Garden Photo Excellence at