Tag Archives | composition

Seeing the Garden – Framing

Bed of Tulips Framed by Garden Balustrade; Juxtaposition and Forced Perspective

No, it is not tulip time, at least not here in the Northern Hemisphere.  It is time for more garden photography tips and lessons from the e-book I am writing, and teasing you with excerpts right here on Gardening Gone Wild.  Time to begin Chapter Two.

Chapter Two is “Seeing the Garden”, how to use your camera and find a photo that communicates your story.  Much of this chapter will deal with tools and concepts that help you compose your image – somewhat universal artistic ideas that most photography instruction will cover, but here illustrated with gardens.

We  will assume you love gardens, are inspired by something you see, have a story to tell, and need a few tips to put the photo together.  In Chapter Three we will talk about how to find the story to tell when you are overwhelmed by possibilities, how to think like a gardener, and how to find your own voice as a garden photographer, but for now let’s think like a camera.

And once the book is done you might even to choose to read that chapter first.  Heck, my editor may even re-arrange the whole thing.  Right now I need to get to work …. Continue Reading →

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Composition 101- Fill the Frame

Well, here we go.  Join me here as the book unfolds.  The PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop is being written one post at a time – starting here.

Long time readers of Gardening Gone Wild will know I have been writing about garden photography for almost 5 years.  Now its time for a book, an e-book that will re-organize and greatly expand on what you can find here.  All my posts have been tagged The Camera Always Lies and I will be pulling from some of my favorites for inspiration.

Begin at the beginning; section one of the book:  Good Garden Photography.

I have a workshop lecture entitled “Good” Garden Photography.  “Good” being high-lighted because a good photo to a journalist is not just about aesthetics.  My job as a garden photographer is not simply pretty pictures, it is about illustrating, informing, and inspiring.  I am a gardener myself, I want gardeners to have success.  That is how I see my job and you can re-read my Photographer’s Rant (October 2007) and the ‘camera always lies’ dilemma of portraying real gardens in the media.

But the workshop lecture begins with “purdy” pictures and that is how this adventure begins.  Lesson 1.1: Composition – Fill the Frame. Continue Reading →

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Photo Editing – Keepers and Cropping

Winter is the time to catch up on all the photography editing and post production from during the past year.  Or in the case of this sequence of photos, from years ago.

Begonia 'Escargot' varigated foliage swirl

While I was working on the American Meadow Garden book, now 4.5 years ago, I stopped by Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.  The entire campus is the Arboretum, but around the garden office the staff creates the most amazing containers of foliage plants.  Being incredibly busy with the book and projects since, my editing and the post production processing of this job never seemed a priority. Continue Reading →

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Wild Garden Photos

Autumn pond - Proctorsville, VermontLast month, while our Gardening Gone Wild readers were out shooting for the Fill the Frame theme in our Picture This photo contest, I was on vacation in New England – I was filling my camera frame with fall color in Vermont and the landscapes of poet Mary Oliver in Cape Cod, such as Blackwater Pond:

Blackwater Pond, Cape Cod National Seashore

Funny thing though, while I was ostensibly on holiday from my work as a garden photographer I saw all the wild landscapes as gardens.  God’s gardens to be sure, but I saw them defined by earthly designs. Continue Reading →

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Fill the Frame

macro photo of orange heirloom pumpkinSince I am the judge this month for our Picture This contest, I am taking the opportunity to expand on my theme – Fill the Frame.   Link to contest entry rules and previous post.  Whether or not you intend to contribute a photo to the contest or just want to take stronger photos you will want to be mindful of filling your frame as fundamental to your composition.

Think of your photo as an artist thinks of a canvas, every part of it is meaningful and contributes to the overall story.  Whether you frame up your photo in the camera or crop it later, think of the four edges as the edge of your canvas and find a composition to hold your viewer’s eye on your subject.

The gloriously scarlet orange pumpkin in the opening photo is all about color, there is no reason to show any edges.  Note I have composed it so that the stem is off center and I can take advantage of the striations that are part of this heirloom Cinderella pumpkin, ‘Rouge vif D’Etampes’. Continue Reading →

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