Help and Tips for Photographing Your Bonsai?

With Mirai having many specialists in the art of photography and film I thought this would be a good place to get this conversation started. I’m looking to get better at photographing my bonsai both in doors and outdoors (as are many people in this community I’m sure). I have little experience in photography other then my cell phone and what i have done with my Costco bought Canon Rebel T3i. Now I realize that the subject of photography can be very in depth much like bonsai but is there some basic guidelines to start working with that will help me and the rest of us elevate our photography skills? Is there anyone in the community that can give some suggestions?


Interesting topic :slight_smile:
Some points that can improve the picture quality:

  • Use a tripod
    this makes live a lot easier while setting up everything and long exposure times are also not a problem
  • Try to find an almost uniform background
    this can be a wall, cloth or anything else. It dosen’t have to be black or white. In my opinion, a light gray is also very nice and let the colors pop out niceley
  • Use diffuse light
    with diffuse light (i.e. an overcast sky) you don’t have to struggle with harsh shadows an contrasts



I would also suggest playing with the angle a bit. Trees are very three dimensional and photographs can really kill some of that. I’ve tried taking photos of the tree from slightly above, or slightly below, and sometimes moving the camera up or down a bit can make the pads and details pop out a lot more.

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Consider focus stacking to get superb depth of field from front to back of your tree. Many good tutorials online.

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A great guide for taking bonsai pictures:

Obviously, the tech part might not apply today - the article was written in 2004.
All in all, it gives a solid, rather simple technique of how to take great pictures.

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