Getting Creative with Blooming Trees


Today, I want to share a bit of the likely-unknown path of my early photographic days. Everything became serious after meeting street photography in 2011 during a field work round at my first experience as an academic researcher. This life-turning event happened in 2011, and I got my first camera in 2009. What was I shooting during those days?

Well, everything! The first photographic experiences are great because they allow anyone to explore anything, everywhere, all the time. Our whole existence keeps wandering through an infinite landscape of photographic potential. And one is barely worried about getting validation from the pros. This Eden's span gets to be long or ephemeral — making it one of the biggest variables photography has.

Amidst all things gathering my attention, I became obsessed with close-up shots, details, old locks, flowers, you name it! Nature-oriented photography came to me in basically two flavours, macro-shots of flowers and landscapes. And today, I want to talk about this common topic in photography.

Once upon a time, one of the few photography masters I reckon in my life told me something like this: ‘anyone incapable of getting moved by a flower is an insensible person'. I'm paraphrasing the sentence of course, but the idea is clear, right? The tale gets an interesting turn when you get to know that this photographer is recognised for documenting war and conflicts with his camera during the analogue days. Cheers Augusto, wherever you might be!

So he took us (his 2 students at the time), to a small-local reservoir landlocked within an industrial complex in my country. This exercise aimed to force us to anticipate exposure values in complex light situations, and the workshop lasted all morning long. Imagine light and shadow being harsh in equal parts, moving from one patch of light to a deep shadow at the distance of a few footsteps.

Anticipating exposure is an incredible skill anyone serious about photography ends up developing sooner or later. I won't lie to you, it took me perhaps 6 years to finally achieve it, but since that day it became a habit for me. The other experience I recall is trying to take photos of flowers again! Especially the tiny petals of blooming trees.

Simple Ideas for Blooming Trees

Not all flowers behave the same, and those adorning trees during springtime feel more like a texture rather than flowers themselves. Here, we've compiled a brief list of ideas you can develop while walking under blooming trees!

Activate Macro Mode

Flowers hold great amounts of detail when looked closer. Using dedicated macro-lens is the ideal way to work when taking this approach, but they tend to be expensive as well. A common technique is to reverse the lens and shoot through the magnifying effect this action produces. If you are brave enough, we recommend some safety measures like the ones shared in this post. Get closer, and seek lovely-looking buds for a more interesting approach towards trees and their beauty.

Use them as a Background Prop

Think of your subjects being surrounded by blooming trees while taking that romantic photo shoot! Or focus on the great body of colour produced by the trunk and branches covered in lovely flowers as well. And this applies to fall season two!

Tell a Story about Seasonal Change

For a photo to become meaningful, it needs to be able to tell a story under visual terms. We know trees change their appearance throughout the whole year, so you can use blooming trees as one of the main chapters of this natural behaviour these living beings have. Taking standardised photos of the same tree across the seasons is a fun way of connecting with nature and also for developing a documentary project we all can do even at our homes.

blooming trees cherry
Photo by Victoria Nazaruk
blooming trees lilac
Photo by Anna Zakharova
blooming trees macro
Photo by Alfred Schrock
blooming trees portrait
Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik
blooming trees sunset
Photo by Daniela Izotenko
blooming trees
Photo by Aaron Burden
blooming trees negative space
Photo by Ja Kubislav
yellow flowers bush
Photo by Irina Iriser
fresh field
Photo by Rovshan Allahverdiyev
trees wide angle
Photo by Grooveland Designs

Learn more about compositional techniques and improve your nature shots dramatically! Download this e-book on Advanced Composition and you'll get the following:

  • 7 Essential Tips For Composition
  • 3 Steps to Perfect Composition That You Need To Know
  • 5 Awesome Composition Tips To Improve Your Photography
pink bloom bridge
Photo by Dylan Sauerwein
red blooming bush
Photo by Irina Iriser
trees and meadow spring
Photo by Tessa Terrus
city springtime
Photo by Jake Weirick
sunset golden cherry tree
Photo by Patrick Mueller
dusk springtime
Photo by Caleb Wright
girl with flowers
Photo by Megan Ruth
flowering branch
Photo by Khurt Williams
springtime lake
Photo by Redd

I'm so pleased to have shared this with you that I even looked for my first digital photographs to accompany these words — and I found them! Unluckily for us, they are stored in CDs and I simply couldn't find a way to access them right now; maybe destiny will allow me to share those early shots someday 😅

Further Reading:

About Author

Federico has a decade of experience in documentary photography, and is a University Professor in photography and research methodology. He's a scientist studying the social uses of photography in contemporary culture who writes about photography and develops documentary projects. Other activities Federico is involved in photography are curation, critique, education, mentoring, outreach and reviews. Get to know him better here.

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