If you want to keep a photographic record of your trees that will help you keep track of your progress, here are some tips on photographing your Bonsai trees to their best advantage. We assume that you know how to operate your camera.
Set your digital camera to the highest quality image setting.
Use a tripod. The slightest motion can blur your photo.
Place the tree against a neutral background. A roll up window blind, white bed sheet or black cloth make good backdrops. If outdoors, pick a bright, overcast day or if it’s sunny, place your tree in the shade to avoid harsh shadows and uneven lighting.
Make sure the trees’ formal front is facing the camera.
Place the camera so that it is level with the vertical centre of the tree.
Do not tilt camera up, down, left or right.
Don’t crop the tree too tightly in the viewfinder. Leave some space all around the tree.
Choose a vantage point and distance that you can match and repeat when photographing the same tree over time. Although it is the formal front that you want to share with others, photographs of sides and back are good records to have.
If indoors, light the tree from from the top, and left or right side. Try to avoid harsh shadows created by the automatic flash. If you don’t have supplemental lights, many cameras can be fitted with a diffuser that fits over the built-in flash that creates soft shadows.
Review your photos on a large screen before you take down your set up. Make sure all parts of the tree are in focus. You can easily take another photo if you notice any flaws or other technical issues.