Town and Country Garden Club

Site Updated: Febuary 16, 2014


Photography Tips and Tidbits


Click on this beautiful winter image to learn more about taking stunning images of trees in winter.



This article was in a newspaper in Utah. It covers a lot

Of the important ideas about photography with few words.

“Composition is one of the first ways to improve photographs.

Look at a really good photograph and you’ll find the subject is placed off-center and probably falls along the imaginary line that connects the opposite corners of the frame. Or imagine a grid in your viewfinder that sections the frame into thirds—top to bottom and right to left. Now place your subject at the intersection of a horizontal line and a vertical line. That’s called the Rule of Thirds, and it’s a good one to follow. Place a foreground subject on one of those intersections and a background subject on the opposite intersection and you may find that friends start asking for copies of your photos.

Fill the frame. If the subject fills only 10% of the picture, the other 90% probably

Is wasted on uninteresting matter---not the making of a high-quality shot. If you need to move in closer, do it.

Eliminate unnecessary objects. See what your lens sees. Is there a plant that seems to be sticking out of the top of someone’s head? Is the red car in the background more obvious than the children? Have you included too many points of interest, to the detriment of them all? Basic rule: Keep it simple!

A photograph is not about an object, it is about LIGHT ON AN OBJECT. The best photographic light occurs early in the morning and late in the afternoon, as the lower angle of light gives your subject depth and a greater sense of reality. The warmth of the light deepens the color.”

How to Take Good Family Holiday Photos 

Try using the tips below to take some family photos over the holidays. Don’t think you need a fancy camera; cell phones now take good quality photos. 

1. Keep it alive. Let personalities shine, the best photos are rarely posed! Especially for children, candid is key and will capture a feeling better than any forced smile will do. 

2. Get in close. Capturing detail and emotion is so much easier no matter what equipment you have when you get on your subject’s level, invade personal space if necessary! Show the freckles and the flaws, those are the things we treasure as mothers and we want to remember for years to come. Faces are what you really want to see – so get right up there. When you think you have a great photo…take one step in! 

3. Always try to pull your subject away from a background. The “10 Most Wanted” pose is not flattering. The depth you can create behind them only serves to accentuate your subject. . If you have a zoom lens, stand back a few feet and zoom in to throw the background out of focus and isolate your subject from the background. More flattering to your subject. 

4. Take multiple photos. Kids and babies are notorious for wiggling at the last second, so make sure you have plenty of options to choose from. You can even use the video feature on your Smartphone, then take a screen shot from the video! 

5. Steady! Many people extend their arms to see the image in the camera’s viewfinder before snapping the picture. This makes it difficult to hold the camera steady. And if the zoom feature is used, shakiness is amplified. Instead, keep your arms tucked tight against your body when shooting a photo. Old-fashioned eyeball viewfinders also reduce shakiness, as it requires you to keep the camera still as it’s pressed against your face. 

6. Frame your subjects off-center. Go against your natural impulse to center all your photographs. While some shots look nice centered within the frame, off-center compositions can give your photos an artistic feel.

The following were tips given by a GCA zone for one of their photography competitions.

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt. ~~~ Lewis Carroll

Snow Photography Tips

  • Look for some interesting nature photos, as winter and snow provide plenty of opportunities. For example, look for evergreen branches covered in snow, brightly colored berries peeking out from snow, an animal standing in a field of snow, or icicles hanging from trees. Basically, any contrasting color can stand out from the white snow, creating an interesting nature photo.
  • The warm golden light at dawn, combined with the cold blue tones of snow, give magical effects. (Alternatively, you could shoot at sunset for similarly dramatic images.)
  • With a combination of white snow and bright sunlight, automatic cameras sometimes have difficulty with white balance. Look to see if your camera has a snow or winter setting. That will help.
  • Dress warmly and wear waterproof clothes. This may sound obvious, but you'll be amazed by how quickly you lose heat in snowy conditions. Buy "shooting gloves" (which double up as mittens and fingerless gloves) and don't forget a hat.
  • Make sure your camera's batteries are all fully charged and keep your camera in a camera bag while moving around, so that it doesn't get too cold. When you get home, try to put your camera in the coolest part of the house and let it warm back up gradually to avoid condensation. You could invest in some silica bags if temperature difference is a real problem.
  • If you have a DSLR camera and want to get more intricate with your approach, going to may help.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~~~ John Muir

so grab your camera and head to Evergreen or Greenbush or the north woods or just your backyard. The walk will be invigorating even if you don’t get a good photo.

7 Tips - How to add Depth & Dimension into your Photos

Click on the image to learn all seven tips.


The best camera to use is....

the one you have with you! :-)