Tag Archives | trees

Dogwood – Finding the Photo

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It’s Spring !  At least here in California.  Since many friends across the country are still thawing out, how about we go looking for a photo in my garden?  My pink dogwood tree, Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’, is putting on quite a show.

‘Finding the Photo’ is a classic lesson from my Workshop series.  I ask my students to look at the garden and go beyond the snapshot.  Find that photo that tells a story, that narrows down the viewer’s attention to exactly what you want them to see. Continue Reading →

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Accents !

Ratway_exclamations)GGWFor a garden photographer there is nothing quite like a landscape architect who knows how to use plants.  Gary Ratway not only knows plants as well as any horticulturist I have met, he designs landscapes to show them off.

His own garden in Mendocino, California is a showcase for garden design as landscape architecture, a landscape that has been designed to accommodate his many garden rooms where he  plays with plants.  Many plant lovers know his nursery, Digging Dog, which Gary began with his wife Deborah Wigham because he could not find sources for the exquisite plants he uses. Continue Reading →

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Photographing Garden Plants

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Plants are the core of gardens, they are the core of garden photographs.  When we photographers picture plants we need to consider why gardeners grow them in the first place.  What are the core distinctions ?  What is the essence of a garden plant?

A photograph of a plant should be as carefully considered as was the plant when it was placed in the garden. Continue Reading →

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Vantage Point – Looking Up

norfolk island pine, Sometimes we photographers get stuck.  We are out looking for photos and just can’t seem to find anything special.  Often, seeing the garden is just a matter of slowing down and thinking about what it is that excites us.  Other times we just need to shake up our point of view.

As you look around, try looking up, straight up, especially if you have trees.  Photos underneath, looking up, give a sense of majesty.  They force you and the viewer to re-think scale and dimension.

Recently I have been preparing for an exhibit of prehistoric plants at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers and looking for images that, when blown up 10 feet tall, will make the visitors feel they are enveloped in a new environment. Continue Reading →

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Picture This – Winter Trees

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Our loyal readers know “Picture This” has been a popular Gardening Gone Wild photo contest over the years, where we invite professional garden photographers to pick a theme and hand out awards.  It has been a great way for readers to learn together and link their contest photo in their own blogs to the GGW community of garden photographers.

Well, the contest is a lot of work for us and our our guest photographers, so it needs to evolve.  Rather than simply discontinue the fun, it will run occasionally with our in-house professional garden photographer – me.  As I develop my e-book on garden photography I will post how-to lessons under the Picture This category, and invite anyone to post their own interpretation of the lesson on their own blog and link it to GGW, where I would urge each contestant to go and comment.

As a group each of the students will be able to learn from the collective critique and I will do my best to offer follow-up critique myself as time allows.  This is a bit of an experiment as I decide what works and how students learn. Continue Reading →

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