It’s harvest time! And this is a great time to photographically record the fruits of your labor (veggies of your labor?). So far we’ve been eating peas, beans, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, basil, and potatoes from my wife’s 16×30 foot garden. The Roma tomatoes, squash, carrots and beets are not quite ready.

1. NATURE’S BOUNTY
Gather up some of your harvest and arrange in a basket or on your picnic table. Then get close so you fill the frame with produce. This works best in open shade or on high overcast days. Even just picked dirt-covered potatoes can look good like this!

garden vegetables Skogstjarna

Gourds2 Carlton Co MN IMG_0051521
Potatos Bridget's Skogstjarna Carlton Co MN IMG_0014628

Strawberries IMG_0632

Gourds Carlton Co MN IMG_0051527

2. DON’T POO POO CLOUDY OR RAINY DAYS
Light overcast days can be the best time to shoot in your veggie garden. Why? Because the clouds are acting like a giant reflector in the sky and evening out the light. No harsh shadows to deal with either. Extreme contrast between highlights and shadows can be the hardest thing to deal with photographically. It is an especially good time to shoot reflective, shiny surfaces like dewy leaves, tomatoes
beet leaf Bridget's garden Skogstjarna Carlton Co MN IMG_3932beet leaf

3. DON’T FORGET YOUR IPHONE!
Crazy as this sounds, your smart phone is a great tool for taking photos and making creative art from your photos.
IMG_3163Okay, it’s not a vegetable or vegetable flower…But this rose photo taken with an iPhone and modified with some special effects app, shows what is possible with “the camera in your back pocket.”

4. HORIZONTAL OR VERTICAL? BOTH!
Don’t limit yourself to just horizontal images…Try shooting the same scene both ways, then see which you like best on your computer. Maybe even crop square to test that aesthetic too…It’s hip to be square! (just ask Instagram!)

Pumpkin field horiz Hennepin Co MN IMG_0066639

Pumpkin field vert Hennepin Co MNIMG_0066638

5. PEOPLE IN THE GARDEN
Kids harvesting veggies is always a winner. They love being in the garden and picking stuff. Get low and close for good portraits.
IMG_2708

Bjorn picking tomato Webers Carlton Co MN IMG_0065396

6. GET YOUR KNEES DIRTY
Try shooting from a very low angle to give drama to your photos.
Bjorn picking tomato Webers Carlton Co MN IMG_0065395Bjorn picks a tomato

7. VEGETABLE FLOWERS
The blossoms of vegetables can be just as beautiful as any in your annual flower garden! We are all bummed when we forget to harvest the broccoli and it goes to flower…but then take a deep breath and check out the tiny yellow flowers.
bean flower Bridget's garden Skogstjarna Carlton Co MN IMG_4020bean blossom

Cilantro Bridget's garden Skogstjarna Carlton Co MN IMG_3999Cilantro flowers

8. THROUGH THE SEASON
Take a series of photos of your garden throughout the season…From planting to Harvest. Remember to take from the EXACT spot each time.

garden July 5 Skogstjarna Carlton Co MN IMG_8533July 5th

garden Sept 1 Skogstjarna Carlton Co MN IMG_4930September 1st

9. DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS
Helianthus annuus Common Sunflower Owl Ave Sax-Zim Bog MN IMG_2662

10. INSECTS/BUTTERFLIES
Don’t just curse and kill the insects in your garden…Shoot them! Some ‘pests’ are quite beautiful. Butterflies can often be found in vegetable gardens too.

11. OTHER STUFF
Don’t forget the other “stuff” in your garden. Garden gnomes are very well-behaved subjects! I took the “pumpkin” sign photo with a very shallow depth of field (shot at f2 with a 60mm lens) and put the pumpkin blossom in the background.
pumpkin blossom Bridget's garden Skogstjarna Carlton Co MN IMG_3984

12. SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD
Let’s get artsy! You can only do this with a DSLR and lenses with apertures in the f1.2 to f2 range.

13. BACKLIGHT
Backlighting can really add drama to some images. Here is a pumpkin leaf taken into the sun to highlight the road-like maze of veins.
Squash leaf Bridget's garden Skogstjarna Carlton Co MN IMG_4040

14. ON THE TABLE
Complete the story with photos of the meals you make from your vegetables.

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