The experience and end result of nature and landscape photography varies greatly throughout the year as weather and seasons change. Most of us in the northern hemisphere are happy to see the cold weather of winter coming to an end, knowing that spring and summer are just around the corner.
Spring is a great season for getting outside and working on your craft. If you are looking for a specific project to get your creative juices flowing, there are many different things that you can do. In this article I’ll list 7 possible subjects that will allow you to enjoy spring while photographing the nature around you.
Echinacea Flower Bud Close Up by Skitter Photo / CC0
Finding flowers is pretty easy, they could even be in your own yard. There are plenty of public parks with flowers, and many private parks and gardens are also possibilities (some prohibit commercial photography so be sure to check the photo policy ahead of time).
→ To get the most out of your wildflower photography see the Wildflower Photography e-book by Steve Berardi.
2. Tree Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms by Jeff Kubina / CC BY-SA 2.0
Another similar option to photographing flowers is to photographing trees that are blossoming or blooming. Certain types of trees are beautiful in the spring. And some, like the cherry trees in Washington, D.C., are quite well known. If you’re not sure what type of trees to look for, see this article that discuses 10 beautiful flowering trees and this article that lists the best flowering trees and shrubs.
3. Streams and Waterfalls
Spring waterfall by Marc Andre
Moving water like streams, creeks, rivers, and waterfalls are a great subject throughout the year. However, many of them flow stronger and carry more water in the spring after snow melts. This is especially true with mountain streams and waterfalls, as well as those that are fed by water flowing from higher elevation and colder areas.
You’re probably already aware of some streams or waterfalls in your area, and if not you can do a Google search like “waterfalls in Pennsylvania” and you’ll find plenty of help that will point you in the right direction.
→ Related reading: 10 Tips for Fabulous Waterfall Photography
Waiting… by Arian Geertsema / CC BY 3.0
Nothing is more typical of spring than the sound of chirping birds. Bird photography is a hobby of many people, and if you have never tried it this spring is a great time to start. It’s possible to photograph birds without even leaving your house (depending on where you live). See How and Where to Photograph Songbirds for some great tips.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just photographing birds in your backyard. Local parks are also good possibilities, and a Google search may help you to find a nature or wildlife refuge near you (see the next list item for some helpful links).
5. Other Wildlife
Pronghorn at Yellowstone National Park / Public Domain
Birds obviously aren’t the only type of wildlife to photograph in spring. Many species are much more active and visible as the weather warms up, not to mention the wildlife photography is a lot more enjoyable for you when you’re not trudging through snow and ice.
The specific locations to photograph wildlife will depend on where you live and what you want to photograph. You can search for places to photograph wildlife in your area and you can also use the following links to help:
- List of wildlife refuges in the U.S. categorized by state
- Wikipedia’s list of nature reserves in the U.S.
- The Nature Conservancy
At Sunrise by Susanne Nilsson / CC BY-SA 2.0
Getting up early to photograph the sunrise is a great idea at any time of year, but in the spring you can enjoy weather that is warmer early in the morning than it would have been just a few months ago. Also, in the U.S. we just recently moved to daylight savings, which means if you act quickly you can benefit from a later sunrise. Of course, as the spring rolls on and the days get longer this won’t be the case.
→ See Sunrise Photography: How to Make Your Images Sparkle & Shine for tips.
Dalbeg Beach by Chris Combe / CC BY 2.0
If you want to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather, what better place to photograph than the beach? By photographing the beach in spring you’ll be able to get the warmer weather and still beat the crowds that will be flocking to the beach during the summer months.
→ See How to Photograph the Beach or Coast for tips
What Will You Be Photographing This Spring?
Feel free to share your own spring photography ideas and projects.