Visual Vitamin D: Inspiration for Spring ShootingPhotographers
Longer days, weddings, and vacations – there is a lot to look forward to in spring (unless you’re a night-photographing curmudgeon workaholic – you know who you are). Here are some inspirational images from our friends that exude “spring” to them in their own way. Hopefully they will inspire you to stay out late (or stay inside the studio – the sun is overrated anyway) and shoot, shoot, shoot!
“For me, spring means I’m one step closer to being able to shoot outdoors underwater again. Cast off the shackles of winter and stuff them away with your winter coat and boots! Rejoice that you no longer have to stress about your car not being plugged in overnight and you can use those precious neurotransmitters dreaming up new ways to break your creative mold. Spring is for new growth, so try new things and push your limits!” - Renee Robyn
“Spring is a time of rebirth and regrowth. The weather, so often inclement, forces many to stay inside. Explore during those brief moments when the weather pauses. Discover unique and interesting ways to compose something that you know has been photographed before. Use the built up energy of waiting for winter to end to explore with new eyes and new creativity. And don’t forget to look somewhere on the ground near you for all of that water that has been falling from the sky to reflect that momentary break.” – Jay Goodrich
“Once during a cold winter I decided I wanted to photograph some beauty shots by a blooming tree. Then spring came. I watched trees getting dressed in gorgeous colorful flowers as I drove around town, while running errands and being busy with day-to-day life. I kept thinking I could still do it that spring…until just a week or two later I realized that a windy night stripped all trees naked. I’ve learned my lesson and planned a shoot with my creative team well in advance the following year.” - Julia Kuzmenko McKim
“Found this on the side of the road in the Hill Country of Texas where wildflowers are starting to show. The flowers appear and change quickly at this time of season. Shoot often and get them before they’re gone.” - Lotus Carroll
“We all gravitate to flowers and color in the springtime, as everything starts to green up and grow…. here’s one of my favorite spring images from a slightly different perspective – yellow and purple wildflowers fighting to grow and stay alive and produce seeds, in the harsh dry environment of southern Utah’s high desert. Taken with a 24mm tilt-shift lens. TIP: get down low when photographing flowers, and include something really cool in the background.” – Andy Williams
“I live for shooting outdoors and for me spring is always about the rebirth of inspiration that seems to die down in the cold winter months here in Michigan. That rekindling of my passion for nature photography always goes into overdrive when the spring blooms start to open. So when nature begins it cycle of renewal revel in it and go find your inspiration.” – Jamie A. MacDonald
“Spring flowers bring a host of new props for shoots. Sometimes I will use faux flowers in the winter but the real thing is always more pliable. The above was taken in Zurich with flowers from a local market. It was taken with a Nikon 35mm f/2D and two SB-910 flashes.” – Alexandria Huff
“As a portrait and wedding photographer in New Jersey, January through March are usually our down months for wedding photography, and the time that we are stuck in our studio out of the cold. We couldn’t be more excited for a taste of warmer weather. We headed to Cape May to spend the weekend. Its always been a favorite time of year for us to hit the Jersey Shore just before the crowds. I did a lot of medium format film shooting but also brought my digital gear to get some shots like this one of the Cape May Lighthouse. Taken with the Canon 35mm f/1.4L on the Canon 5D Mark II.” -Jay Cassario
Not sure what to rent this spring? Here are 10 of our favorites compiled by various staff members:
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro – This is a phenomenal lens that is appropriate for both casual flower shooting and higher-end portrait shooting. It’s a little long for just “walking around” with but if used with intent it will fast become one of your favorites. It’s pretty light, very easy to hand-hold, and is image stabilized which is super helpful when using it for macro work.
Canon Powershot D20 – We have hardcore underwater housings for DSLR equipment but they’re pricey and a big commitment. If you want to do some casual underwater shooting this season, the D20 is perfectly suitable for that. This is a BL favorite for our own vacations.
Westcott Ice Light – These are too fun. Take a couple out into the woods some warm evening and shoot something ethereal with them. You’ll have to bump your ISO because they are not super strong but they create a unique-looking light that is worth the bother.
Zacuto Z-Finder – LCDs are getting super bright nowadays and are able to compete with the sun but it is still sometimes a struggle to see what you just shot when chimping outdoors. The Z-finder mounts onto your DSLR and creates a great shield around the screen for you to see every little detail. These are a favorite for videographers but photographers love them, too.
Rain Covers – You know what they say about April showers. Just because it is spring doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods on inclement weather. Protect your gear with these rain slicks. They are an inexpensive little bit of added insurance.
Singh-Ray Variable Neutral Density Filter – If you have a lens with a front element that is 77mm diameter (many are and usually say right on the front or side), experiment with one of these filters (we also have them in 82mm). Use one of these to take long exposures in broad daylight and get those milky-smooth ocean landscapes or streaking fog shots.
Sennheiser Blimp System – If you’re new to video DSLR off-camera sound then you should explore picking up one of these to try. Pair it with a shotgun mic (rentable separately) and what is lovingly called a “dead cat” wind baffle (included with blimp) and you’ll be able to combat wind noise when recording outside.
Sony RX1R – This is one of the best travel cameras around. It’s small, it’s full frame, and it’s easy to use (though it won’t seem like it at first – there are a lot of buttons but you learn it quickly). The fixed lens limits you but it also frees up your mind to problem solve scenery for thoughtful imagery.
Sensor Cleaning – This suggestion is a little mean because it is only available to folks who happen to be near enough to hand deliver their dirty cameras to us at our San Carlos Headquarters. However, it you ARE in the area (or passing through), give your camera a little spring cleaning by someone so good at it that they can do it with their eyes closed (don’t worry – we let them use their eyes).
ILE MKIII Ultimate Photographer’s Bag – These bags are hand made in the USA by a cycling enthusiast with a healthy dose of empathy for photographers. They are pricey so try ours out first – you’ll probably fall in love.