Tree Preparation and placement
Tree preparation is important and it could even be better to begin preparing the tree for photography the day before your photography shoot.
Things to do before photographing;
- Give your tree a good water and ensure that the pot gets a good rinse off as well.
- Remove any obvious tiny detrimental weeds or leaves
- Do any minor styling or tidying up as required.
- Have a look at different angles and consider any shots you wish to capture.
- If you are shooting multiple trees in a session you may wish to note specifics that you wish to capture, so in the heat of the moment you don't forget when you actually photograph the tree.
- Test the tree on various backgrounds
- If you are shooting outdoors, identify an area where you can photograph, check the light and note the time of day, so you can reproduce the lighting.
- Check you have all your gear together,lenses are clean, batteries are charged and memory cards have capacity for your intended photographs. If you are working in an environment where you can setup your gear safely and securely do that in advance ready for the shoot.
- Check you have your tools such as a paint brush for brushing things and a pair of tweezers and scissors.
Things to do the day of the photo shoot
- Give your tree a light brush to remove any spider webs
- Wipe the pot over with a damp cloth, including the back of the pot in case you spin it around for a different angle
- Wipe the stand over with a cloth to remove dust or fluff
- Check the ground cover for weeds or stand out items
- Ensure that any tie wires coming through the bottom of the pot are neat and tidy as sometimes these show up when you are down at the pot level with the camera.
Camera angle is at the choice of the photographer, but experiment with the tree. Basically keep the camera at the same height and angle that you would prefer the viewer to see the tree at. Depending on the lense a good starting point is the bottom of the camera at the top of the pot. You can work it out from there and have your own rule. Obviously this will depend on your tree and pot and stand.
Sometimes for a detail shot of the trunk, a flower or in between branches you will need to raise your camera up and shoot down into the tree.
Distance from Tree to camera
The distance you choose to put your camera is dependent on a number of factors. It depends on the length of your lense. If you need to fit more in the frame you may have to zoom out or move your camera back.
You cannot move your camera any closer than the minimum focal distance which is written on the lense, it might be for example .3 of a metre(0.3m). or much closer for a lense with macro. If you move your camera too close, you may find you or the camera(autofocus) cannot focus on the bonsai tree. Just move the camera back a bit.