How to Photograph Your Home Vegetable Garden

Not too long ago I invested in a web enabled smart phone. It allows me to send and receive emails, surf the web and has a built in camera. In today’s world of fast pace, have it now, technology, I find that I am guilty of wanting the latest, greatest electronic gizmos. Electronics ranks 3rd in my list of must haves after gardening and woodworking, so it’s up there fairly high.

With smart phone in hand with a built in camera I was in heaven. I could use technology to take instant photos of my home vegetable garden and upload them online for the world to see. It is a real time snapshot of what I am growing at that moment.

Usually within seconds there are a few “likes” and some comments. Even with the latest technology, one thing I have learned is, I am not Ansel Adams (a world famous photographer). My photography skills needed some work.

I turned to Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes who is a professional photographer that specializes in landscapes and still-life photography. Perfect. Who else to get advice from than an award winning photography expert.

When is the best time to photograph the garden?
Michelle says the best time is when the sun is overhead. Choosing a soft morning or afternoon light is ideal, before 10 am if possible. The colors in your photos will be richer.

What is the best angle to photograph your garden?
“Don’t be afraid to get dirty,” says Michelle. “Kneeling, even laying down on the same level as your subject for the best detail and most interesting angle.” She continues, “If you’re shooting the entire garden in one frame, stand back and make sure your horizon line is on the one third or bottom one third of the shot.”

Both of these tips will work with any of today’s digital cameras or smart phones that are at least five megapixels. Less than 5 (which is rare today) and the pictures will look too “grainy”. Michelle also recommends that you should always take photos in color.

With today’s editing software you can always go back later and make your color photos go black and white. “Black and White landscape shots can really be stunning, especially when there is a lot of contrast between light and dark, such as right after a snowfall,” says Michelle.

Along with photographing my home vegetable garden (albeit, still a work in progress), I have come to learn and love Photoshop.