Tag Archives | how-to

Autumn Focal Points

Seeing as how most of the Northern Hemisphere is now experiencing autumn at one level or another, I figured it would make this next lesson on garden photography a bit more relevant if I actually show some fall photos.  (Yes, California has fall color too…)

The focal point of a picture is its subject, the story of the photograph.  It is often the focus point as well (the focus point being the point of sharpest focus), but for our lesson in composition, I want you to think about what you are trying to say with your photo.  Organize the frame so that your viewer can’t help but see your focal point. Continue Reading →

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Composition 102 – Balance

filoli fall tapestry

The PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop: 1.2

Our last lesson, the first of the series in my new e-book, and the most important lesson to remember in creating a good garden photo is to fill the frame of your composition with only those elements that contribute to your story.  A painter doesn’t waste canvas, a photographer shouldn’t waste space either.

OK, using the entire frame is a given.  Every other technique assumes this.  Look at any photo in my Gardening Gone Wild posts tagged “The Camera Always Lies” and consider full frames.   Now, how do we arrange the elements into a balanced composition? 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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The Photo Workshop

garden photography students

I have really been having fun learning how to run the garden photography workshops at San Francisco Botanical Garden.  Each class has become a lesson on one particular theme.

You too can learn, by giving yourself an assignment, something to work on – and just do it.  For instance “focal points”.  Here, at SFBG we are using the Japanese lanterns as an element, a focal point to draw the eye into the composition. Continue Reading →

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Yellow and Daffodils

What we see and what we capture with the camera are often different; too often if you are not careful to photograph with intent.  What my mind’s eye sees when I enter my garden this time of year are yellow daffodils.

Yellow Daffodil 'February Gold' Narcissus in spring garden

But actually there are only a very few. Continue Reading →

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