Four ways to get creative at the start of spring

After a very busy winter, I finally had some time to get out for myself and photograph the world around me. It was 67 degrees with blue skies and … brown scenery everywhere.

If you live in the Midwest, you know what I’m talking about. The time between winter and “pretty spring” … what I refer to as “blah.” It’s hard to make photos that are meaningful or look even remotely decent when there’s very little color around you.

So that was my challenge, as I went to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI on Monday. Here’s what I found, along with some tips on how you can make the most of this “blah” season.

1. Get in and focus close

This was probably the number one reason why I went with a macro lens — I wanted to get rid of as much of that brown look as possible. While there weren’t many colors at the gardens, there were enough where I could get super close to the subject and snap away.

2. Be mobile and work the spring scenes

While using a tripod is a great idea when using a macro lens, it’s not always realistic, especially when there are other people walking about. In my case, there was a group of 40 or so school students running around. The last thing I wanted to deal with was a tripod.

So, I used a shutter speed of around 1/250s and an open aperture and was able to grab some perfectly sharp shots.

This also let me play around with various different angles of the same subject, allowing me to create a different look with each photograph.

3. Look for the whimsical in spring

spring photography

If you’re out on a windy day, have some fun with grasses or other lightweight objects that shuffle through the breeze. This can help add a whimsical look to your scene.

4. Experiment with your editing

I love trying out new looks with my photos, but client photos aren’t the right time to do it. So I wait for these personal experiences to test out new editing looks. To start, add some color to your scene with the Saturation and Vibrance sliders. You might find your brown leaves looking a bit more colorful, with a slightly orange or yellow tone.

Or, I might apply a subtle matte photograph, or go super dark like the photo below. This helps to bring in some mood and contrast.

No matter what your subject is, you can choose a creative way to capture and edit it. Turn that “blah” into a work of art, and you’ll be ready for when the buds start to pop this spring!