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Photos on the Road

Should you even try to take pictures when the light is horribly wrong ?


This is the dilemma of any garden photographer when traveling or going into a garden that you may never get to see again.  How do you get some kind of picture worth sharing, something beyond the snapshot that serves as a memory jog?

It is easy to tell students to wait for the good light or to plan a visit in the early morning or late afternoon, but there are times you have no choice but to see a garden when the light is difficult. Continue Reading →

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Photos in the Garden


Wisteria on my entry gate April 2, 2013

Want a tip on how to take good garden pictures ?  Pick up your camera and go out into a garden.  You can’t get good pictures if you don’t take any pictures.  Put yourself in a position to make something happen.

April 2 was a day to take photos in my own garden.  It was overcast and still – a gift for a garden photographer.  A day to ignore computer deadlines and take pictures.  There have been too many times I regretted missing this sort of opportunity, and spring was calling. Continue Reading →

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Get Inside the Garden

Think Like a Gardener – Design and Shape.                                                                               The PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop – Lesson 3.1


The formal design of Filoli Garden fills the space with precision.


Finding your own style as a garden photographer begins with your own understanding of gardens. Think like the gardener within, then get inside the garden to find your photo.

This lesson in The PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop is about Design and Space.  In earlier lessons we talked about design and space as it relates to the composition of a photograph, how to fill the camera frame (space) with a pleasing composition (design).  Here we look at the gardens themselves.  Now we will be looking at themes and assignments for you when you go out with the camera. Continue Reading →

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Think Like a Gardener


This photographer sees a flower.

If you want to be a garden photographer you need to think like a gardener.  You are not just taking a picture of a landscape, you are photographing a garden.

This may seem obvious, but it is important to keep it in mind as you look at a scene and try to tell your story.  What is it about the scene in front of you that makes it a garden ?  What is it, within your own gardening experience, that you want to say and share ?  Remember, the camera always lies, and it is you the photographer that determines what the camera sees. Continue Reading →

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Photographing Grasses

Toe Toe Grass in the garden of Linda Cochran

Toe Toe Grass in the garden of Linda Cochran

More than any other group of plants, I love to photograph grasses.  They bring light, motion, and texture to gardens.  They range widely in size and color, and mix well into all garden styles, from beds and borders to meadows and in containers.  Because they are so versatile in blending into gardens they can be hard to photograph.

I began to understand how to capture their ornamental effects years ago while working on my Grasses book with Nancy Ondra.  Of all the pictures in the book, the one above in Linda Cochran’s garden, of the tall arching Toe Toe Grass (Cortaderia richardii) was to define how I saw grasses and how I photographed them. Continue Reading →

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