Spring is coming and with it the relatively brief cherry blossom season. Cities like Washington, Tokyo and Copenhagen will be blooming under an ocean of pink petals as thousands of people converge to photograph this stunning spectacle.
Ahead of full bloom, here are six tips to perfect your cherry blossom photographs.
1. Start with a good app that will allow to independently control the camera’s focus and exposure. This will allow you to keep elements in focus while playing with light and contrast. Your iPhone‘s native app offers manual exposure controls, but only third-party apps like Camera+ and VSCO let you separate exposure and focus points while also letting you adjust other elements such as shutter speed, exposure and ISO.
2. Get up early or stay up late. The ideal lighting conditions are in the hours around sunrise and sunset, when colors are more vivid and not washed out by the sun at its zenith. Again, there are apps that can help pinpoint when will these magic hours happen according to your location.
3. Be creative. You want to play with the elements. A gust of wind, for example, could lead to a beautiful photo of petals flying around your subject. Also look for colorful elements that can contrast with the dominant pink color of the blossoms.
4. Be ready to wait it out. Chances are you won’t be the only person photographing your city’s cherry blossoms, so be patient and seek new angles that will allow you to create the perfect shot without any stranger in the background.
5. Get close and experiment with your camera’s depth of field to create beautiful compositions where the individual cherry blossoms disappear in an overwhelming blur of pink.
6. When you’re ready to share your photos on Instagram, choose the right hashtags. The most popular are #cherryblossom, #spring, #flowers, #pink, and #fullbloom but be creative and don’t forget to add the hashtag for your town.
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