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A Wild Vacation

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I have been on vacation.  No gardens.  No professional camera.  It was wild – which is where I learn the best lessons for gardening.

If you have never been to Yellowstone National Park, put it on your bucket list.  Sure there are lots of people there during the summer season, but there are grizzly bears too, so it is easy (and only a bit risky) to go on trails where most folks don’t go. Continue Reading →

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Light – What is it ? Where is it?

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Photographers talk about “The Light” in reverential terms.  It is the life blood of outdoor photography no less than it is the lifeblood of plants for photosynthesis.

Learning how to read the quality of light is the single most important skill in good garden photography. Continue Reading →

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Summer Shadows

Shadows are as much a part of a Southern California summer as sunshine itself. These play with the imagination like a midsummer day’s dream.

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Above: Flowers of a columnar euphorbia.

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Above: Aloe flower and stair rail. Continue Reading →

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Weather, Mood, and Seasons

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An enduring motif of garden photography is the seasons.  The season, its weather and mood is, often unconsciously, part of every story and in every photo.

When we are within a garden, excited by what we see, it is easy to forget the multi-sensory experiences that create the mood we feel.  Sounds, fragrance, light, the weather, all contribute to the physical experience, to how we absorb the garden and how we feel.

It is a challenge to capture these sensory impressions in a photograph, but by working with the season we can challenge ourselves toward telling better stories. Continue Reading →

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Stalking Geraniums

When faced with overwhelming choices in beautiful gardens, it is almost essential for garden photographers to give themselves a target, an assignment.  These days, I am stalking geraniums.

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True, it is great to wander around a wonderful garden, drinking in beauty, grabbing shots, but too often such photos end up as snapshots without a story to tell.  They may remind you, the photographer, what you saw, but don’t communicate to others.

So, when my friend, Robin Parer, unarguably one of the of the world’s authorities in geraniums and owner of Geraniacea Nursery, told me she was finally doing a book, I had the excuse for an assignment.

Continue Reading →

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