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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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Weather, Mood, and Seasons

roses in sunny summer garden

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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Lens Flare

At one point or another all garden photographers will have to deal with lens flare.   Too much strong directional light will cause the glass in the lens to disperse the light – flare, and affect the quality of the image.

lens flare in garden photo

The flare will wash out color and reduce contrast.  It is not always so obvious as in this example, where I was very consciously playing with the sunlight to see how far I could push my lens.  I was previsualizing a glorious sunrise moment and trying every trick I could think of.  More at the end of the post. Continue Reading →

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Hardscape in garden photos

To get a good garden photo, look for hardscape to help define your composition and tell the story, a story about the structure of the garden, how it is put together, what elements, besides the plants, make it work.

In this lesson of the PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop, we continue the assignment theme “Think Like a Gardener” where I ask you to use your own knowledge of gardens and trust your insight to make photos in your own style, communicating in your own voice.  Hardscape is your theme. Continue Reading →

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