Tip 5: Prepare your tree properly
When you photograph your tree, you are exhibiting it. Whether you are taking pictures to share on the internet, to enter in a contest, to publish in a magazine, or to hang on your wall, you should take the care to show your tree at its best. Basically, you should prepare your tree as if you were preparing for a show. This is much too involved a subject to treat fully here, but a few initial suggestions include the following:
The basic principle is simple: Respect yourself, your tree, and your audience enough to take a few minutes to present your bonsai properly.
Preview your photographs. If you are using a digital camera, go check your photographs on the computer before taking down your photo setup. I always do this --- and almost always find at least one thing that I want to correct and re-shoot.
Camera height. Set up your display so that you are photographing the tree head-on, directly from the front. The camera should be level with the lower trunk, so that the soil surface is just barely visible. The first picture below is taken from too high (and in the wrong season, and in distracting direct sunlight.) The second picture shows the same tree photographed from the proper height. This tree is part of the Pacific Rim collection.
Last modified December 29, 2004