a lush garden shot at dawn's first light
Photo: Matthew Benson
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1. Get Up Early, Stay Out Late

Eager to capture the first light of day filtering through leaves wet with dew, Benson usually starts just before dawn so that he can figure out where the light will break through and can be ready to capture it. There is no better time to photograph the overall sweep of a garden, he says. "Light at midday compromises the beauty of the garden, turning delicate plantings into stark shadow and glare." But at the beginning—and end—of the day, shadows and beams of light lengthen, and colors almost glow.
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