As I write this, I am listening to the “Spring” portion of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. I have been listening to this excellent piece of music for most of my life, and it never gets old.

It seemed like a long winter, and I think we are all happy spring is with us. One activity we can all enjoy now that it’s warming up is photography, particularly nature photography.

In late March my peaches were blooming, but now my cherry trees are taking their turn. I also very much enjoy the lilacs and irises blooming in my neighborhood.

Photographing flowering plants may seem straightforward, but I see people make a common mistake over and over: pointing their cameras straight down at flowers. The problem with this is that flowers aren’t very tall, so when we look straight down, the background is quite close, and these images end up being very cluttered.

Most of the time, I like to get down to eye level with flowers. If the background is the tree line 100 yards away, it becomes much easier to use selective focus to throw the background pleasantly out of focus.

A notable exception is trees — redbuds have been particularly dominant this year, such that very many of my friends on social media have been posting their redbud photos.

A macro lens is nice for tiny flowers, but I also love a good large-maximum-aperture prime lens like a 50mm f/1.4 or an 85mm f/1.8. Both are capable of creating striking backgrounds when used at or near their maximum apertures.

Lighting is key as well. I seldom get truly gorgeous flower photos at midday and prefer to prowl our patch of green in the evening. I always have a camera with me when I walk the wolfhound, and there is always a camera nearby when I work in the yard.

Spring evenings are beautiful.

Richard R. Barron | The Ada News

Chief Photographer

Richard R. Barron is Chief Photographer for The Ada News. Richard has been at the News since October 1988. Prior to coming to Ada, Richard worked as staff photographer for The Shawnee News-Star. Richard attended Oklahoma University.