If you love the outdoor and want to improve your photography skills, botanical gardens can be the perfect place to go! Usually containing hundreds or even thousands of different plants’ species, they give you a good window of the plant diversity across the world.
As a wildlife photographer, I also love them because they are host to many species: from colorful butterflies to weird-looking monkeys, you never know what you will stumble upon. Local species such as squirrels and ducks usually thrive in those gardens and are easier to approach that in the wild, making it a good photography training.
Botanical gardens for me are places where I can completely lose track of time and let go of whatever I have in mind. For a good photography trip, I would advise to save a couple of hours to enjoy the garden at its fullest. Flowers can change really fast depending on sunlight so you want to make sure you get different perspectives in your photos.
I usually try to bring a range of different lenses with me when I go explore botanical gardens. Zoom lenses are great for snapping wildlife shots especially of birds and mammals, macro ones are amazing for insects, and I absolutely love taking my 50mm f1.8 to take flower portraits.
My top 3 so far:
1. Jardin des Plantes, Paris: This botanical garden is perfect to combine with a visit to the Museum of Natural History located next door. Great to take a green break from the busy capital.
2. Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro: Beautiful and huge, this garden even has a portion of preserved Atlantic Rainforest! Great to spot squirrels and capuchin monkeys.
3. Old Botanical Garden, Kiel: Very spacious with an amazing diversity of plants. Great for flower portraits and relaxing on a sunny day.