This week we met up with some friends we hadn’t seen in a long time at Gilcrease Orchard to do some apple picking and enjoy their company. I can’t tell you how much I love this place. Being a city girl and living in Vegas suburbia, I appreciate being able to drive 20 minutes and find myself in a landscape like this. It makes my heart happy. Indeed my friends, an apple photo a day keeps the heavy hearts away! There is nothing like an orchard that inspires photography tutorials…
Orchards are truly magical places for photography lovers. Their rows of vines create dynamic spaces of light that I can’t seen to find, or replicate, anywhere in my immediate spaces of parks, homes, etc. The tones of nature are so inspiring, and particularly on this trip to Gilcrease, pull me into a trance. I just had to shoot an apple photo or two, or three!
When taking pictures at an orchard, look low! Fruit that grows on trees, usually fall off. I loved shooting collections of apples that had pulled in the trenches below their tree. Some were rotting, some were still perfectly green, but the variance of colors and tones, in combination of the texture of the dirt and grass, make for a beautiful color scheme. And a lovely apple photo.
While shooting low, consider adding elements of life into your still image. While I love the portrait of my kids, I love images like the one above of Alina gently holding her Granny Smith too. Because of this photo memory, I will be reminded of her gentle, toddler nature (and how she bites her nails just like her Daddy!). The same goes for the image immediately above of Alina’s boots among the apples. I’m actually not crazy about its composition; I wish I would have pulled out more and not cut off her right shoe. But, for sake of creating a photo memory of her fun fall outfit and chunky thighs, it makes the cut.
But who can resist taking a portrait or two? Whether an apple photo or portrait of your baby, orchards provide a gold mine of interesting light. In my very humble opinion, I say look for the most interesting. In an orchard, that means shooting on the side where the sun is behind the rows of trees. In the above picture of Sebastian, the right side of the orchard would have created a fine picture, but I wouldn’t have gotten the beautiful bokeh that I got while shooting on the side of the orchard where the light was filtering through the leaves. It all depends on time of day, direction of sunlight and where you are shooting from. My tip is to find the most interesting light, plot your pumpkin (or apples) in an area with the least amount of shadow cast and shoot, moving around your subject until you find the combination of haze and saturation that you are looking for. Since you are at an orchard, it is safe to assume open shade will be hard to find – you will have shadow cast on faces, etc. It bugged me too, until I just accepted the natural aspect of the image and our locale.
We had such a great time being outdoors in a beautiful environment. Like writing, taking pretty pictures gets me all jazzed up. And pushing my photography abilities by shooting in new venues is always a way to improve your skills. Next time we go to Gilcrease, my goal will be to reduce the amount of shadow cast on the kid’s faces. But for a pretty apple photo, these pictures aren’t so bad.
Do you taking pictures outdoors? In an orchard?