How To Create Great Content Outdoors in Spring

ISM Spring Content

As winter overcast rolls out and spring sunshine fills our view, it’s a great time to escape the confines of your indoor content studio (a topic we’ve discussed here) and branch outward for some inspired outdoor content. If you’re anywhere near as excited as we are to go soak up some vitamin D and enjoy some fresh air, then you’re probably already halfway out the door. Before you get ahead of yourself, however, we wanted to share a few ways to create great content and take your (long overdue) outdoor spring shoots to the next level.

Use Diffusion to Avoid Harsh Shadows

The sun is the ultimate light source when it comes to photography. It’s the first light source most every photographer learns to use, and even the one most veteran pros return to as a personal favorite. Despite its overwhelming favor among those in the know, it can be a fickle companion. When the clouds part and the full force of the sun is shining down on your intended subject, it’s especially important to understand how to harness that might. The number one tool for controlling the power of the sun and avoiding the extreme highlights and harsh shadows that direct sunlight can produce is as simple as it is inexpensive. A 5-in-1 reflector disc can be a photographer’s best friend, not least of all when the spring sun is beaming down. The outer layers are great for bouncing light in a specific direction, but it’s the inner diffusion layer that is essential for softening the harsh sunlight and producing a much more aesthetically desirable effect. So, whether you’re photographing products or people, it’s important to remember that more light isn’t always better.

Consider Background for Color & Composition

April showers bring may flowers, which are a great way to brighten up you outdoor spring content shoots. Getting outside of your designated studio area can be highly liberating and offer a great many resources that were simply unavailable to you indoors. With so many new and exciting variables to introduce into your content, it becomes increasingly important to consider what is included in your photos or videos and what is not. If you’ve been working in a studio during the winter months, you may have grown accustomed to dealing with a relatively small and highly controlled environment. Now, stepping into the great outdoors, you’ll face the challenges (and enjoy the benefits) of working in a more expansive, albeit more chaotic environment. On the one hand, you’ll have all the colors of flowers, buildings, street signs and more to incorporate into your work. On the other, you’ll have vehicles, pedestrians, and the occasional windblown grocery bag moving in and out of your frame. Keeping an eye on all of this may be daunting, but it’s the great responsibility of a content producer to meticulously include and exclude elements in order to produce the best possible result.

Open Up Aperture to Achieve Brilliant Bokeh

When the sun is shining and your background is distant and filled with miscellaneous elements not of your express choosing, there are few better times to open up your aperture to produce a beautifully shallow depth of field. It’s not at all unlikely that you’ll find yourself wanting to incorporate the colors of the sky, grass, flowers, architecture, or some other element, but you’ll also want to simultaneously obscure the dog relieving itself on a hydrant or the gentleman picking his teeth while waiting for the bus. By setting your lens to its maximum aperture, you can keep your desired subject razor sharp, and allow all of these various elements to blend together into bokeh: a smooth, dreamy concoction of color and shape. Besides simply avoiding the odd element that just won’t seem to leave your preferred frame, a shallow depth of field also isolates your subject, drawing the eyes of audience directly where you’ve chosen. So, opening aperture to reduce depth of field is not only a great way to simplify what might be an unruly scene, but also to highlight the express focal point of your content in a subtle and aesthetically pleasing way.

With the sun shining bright, the flowers blooming with color, and pedestrians engaging in all manner of curious behavior while photobombing your content shoots, there’s nothing like getting outdoors in spring. Take these tips, throw them in your light, seasonally-appropriate jacket pocket, and take to the streets, parks, fields or streams and capture some beautiful spring content for your brand. Looking for someone else to get the perfect image for your brand? Contact us.

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