Had a great time at the garden tours this year, taking in both the North Peace and the South Peace gardens. I got a new camera which gave me some grief (such as when the battery said it was fully charged and then unexpectedly went dead) and some glory (a hummingbird photo I will share below).
So you can learn from my goofs, here are some tips for taking pictures on tours:
If you have a new camera and a big picture day is coming up take it out on a few test runs beforehand.
Charge your battery the night before and bring along an extra one (also charged) just in case.
Bring along an extra (empty) scan disc.
Make sure the “date stamp” that puts the date on the image is turned off. Unless, of course, you want it on the images.
At the start of each garden take a picture of the Garden Tour sign and the address on the gate or house so you know which place each batch of pictures were taken.
When taking photos shade is your best friend. People are always surprised to learn that their garden pictures will look brighter when taken on a cloudy day. Some (including me) initially refuse to believe it. But the proof is in the pictures. Professional photographers will go so far as to show up at dawn or dusk to take pictures, to ensure the pictures aren’t washed out by the sun. On a tour, however, you take whatever nature gives you. Using your body (or that of a friend or partner) to shade a particular blossom works good. If its not too intrusive (and on a tour it would likely be waaaay too intrusive) use an umbrella to shade your shots.
And speaking of being intrusive, be respectful. If there are lots of people don’t make them wait while you line up the perfect shot. Hang around until the crowd thins. And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t step into the garden beds or anywhere else that might cause damage, pull weeds or tweak with garden ornaments.
If you spot a plant you love and it has a marker take a picture of the marker and then the plant to help you remember what it was. OR if you have to ask what the name is, write it down on a notepad, snap a picture of your note and then the plant.
My new camera takes a picture every time you touch the screen as well as the button, which meant I ended up with some pretty interesting shots. When a hummingbird showed up in Doris and Dale Brocke’s garden just outside of Dawson Creek, BC I got so excited I took pictures of the sky
and my feet
before finally capturing the perfect shot…though I did have to crop it to get the darn date stamp off!
People always think red when they’re trying to attract these little hummers, but there are lots of other colours they like too including this blue delphinium…