When you’re photographing plants and gardens, it’s natural to focus your attention on what’s in the center of the picture. Taking a few seconds to consider the “frame”—the edges of the image—before you shoot can help to enhance the entire photograph.
One thing to think about is the orientation of the image: whether you hold the camera in its normal position to take a photo that’s a horizontal rectangle or turn it 90 degrees to shoot a vertical one. Broad garden shots, large drifts, and low, spreading plants tend to lend themselves to horizontals…
There are no signs of spring springing around here yet, due to the brutal cold still lingering—and oh, look, more snow on the way—so it’s back to the topic of fun garden photography to find some cheering color. This time, I’m thinking about ways you can change your views by changing the height and angle of your camera.
It’s frigid and snow-covered here in
the Arctic Pennsylvania, and the new growing season seems very far away, so it’s a good time to dip back into my photo archives and hunt for examples of different ways to keep a visual record of the garden. In the previous post–On the Spot–I discussed the idea of choosing set places to stand and reference points you could use to capture similar views at different times. But it’s just too cold to stand around right now, so let’s think about moving around a bit.
(As usual, you should be able to see plant ID info by hovering your cursor over each image. If you’d prefer that I use proper captions from now on, feel free to speak up. And FYI, I tried a new way to handle the photos this time, instead of letting Windows Live Writer upload them automatically. They’re still not full size, but I think they’re much clearer this way, and if you click on them, you can see larger versions. I hope you enjoy the better quality. I just ask that if you pin any of the images to Pinterest, you do it from here–at hayefield.com–and not from the enlarged versions at hayefield.files.wordpress.com; thanks. Now, back to the point.)
I’ve been a professional writer for nearly 24 years now, and a garden blogger for more than 6, so when I come up with a topic for an article or post, I usually have a pretty good idea of how long it’s going to take me to tackle it. I have to admit that this one tackled me, though, and it’s had me down for a pretty long count. It seemed like a good idea last summer, when I thought it would be interesting to see how many different ways and reasons I could come up with to photograph a garden and put them together for a winter post. But after weeks of going through my archives and picking out many hundreds of images, I finally decided that this was going to have to be a series instead of a single post—if I wanted to get something done before next January, at least. So, here’s the first installment of a rather elaborate, non-Bloom Day excuse for presenting pretty garden pictures.
The Diagonal Path at Hayefield ~ September 2012 (click image to enlarge)
A few months ago, reader Alan of It’s Not Work, It’s Gardening! posed an interesting challenge to me: to create some panoramic shots of the gardens here at Hayefield. (You can see some of his own panoramic shots in these posts.) You don’t need to buy a special camera for this, because there are programs that can help you turn a set of ordinary pictures into a striking panoramic shot.
It’s surprisingly easy to find wow moments in your own garden, regardless how little or much effort you put into creating combinations, because the luck factor graces beginners and experts alike. When you’re not comparing your gardens to other people’s pretty pictures, you can be more open to the moments that come along without any intention on your part. The key here isn’t doing, it’s seeing. The more time you’re out in your garden, the greater your chances of spotting magic moments, such as the way the sun shining through a dark leaf makes it glow the same shade of red as a nearby bloom.