Springtime brings rapid changes at the Albuquerque BioPark Botanic Garden as spring bulbs and cool-weather pansies give way to other flowering plants.
If you're a photographer, the "magic hour" of low-angle light as the garden opens in the morning provides great soft light for photos. Bees and birds are already out, taking advantage of the calmer air, and the crowds have yet to arrive.
The garden has layers of color and texture - check out the lacy red Japanese maple against a green backdrop - and some of the most interesting photos are of things not in plain sight, such as woodland flowers tucked in the shade under trees.
More about taking photographs at the Botanic Garden:
I use a high shutter speed to create a very shallow depth of field on most of my shots, blurring the background and making the subject stand out. While my "go-to" lens is usually a 24-70 mm wide-angle, for the garden photos I toted a 70-300 mm zoom mated to a Nikon D800e camera. My tripod would have been the perfect addition for some of the photos shot in the shadows that required slower shutter speeds.