A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Photographing Your Garden

I went to Rutgers Gardens today for a course on garden photography entitled appropriately enough, "Photographing Your Garden". It was supposed to have been team-taught by two photographers, one for SLR and one for digital, but the lecture was mainly by the SLR guy. I'm afraid all his talk about F-Stops and light meters did absolutely nothing for me. I have a digital camera. He also spent most of the lecture time on artsy photography as opposed to what he disdainfully referred to as "educational pictures", i.e. the kind of pictures I take in which you can actually SEE the flowers rather than an artistic impression of them.

I did learn a few valuable things. Cloudy days are best. Sunny days are the worst conditions in which to take pictures. Early mornings and late afternoons are better than glaring mid-day. And you should photograph cool colors in morning light and hot colors in afternoon light.

Both speakers were big advocates of tripods. I move around too much to comfortably use a tripod although they both assured me that once I got used to using a tripod, I wouldn't mind lugging it around.

Then we went out into the gardens to try some of things we had learned. I tried out different angles and framing but I'm not happy with any of the photos I took. One fun thing for me was revisiting the gardens I had helped replant in the spring when I took a course on dividing perennials . I didn't take any "before" pictures in April while we were working, but I took some "after" photos today.

This is one of those "artsy" angles I was trying, shooting along the bed rather than from in front of it. It's a perennial border that we worked on with a rosebush on the end which you really can't see. The following are a few shots of the ornamental grasses plot that we replanted after dividing the grasses. I can't believe how huge everything got.

This is the hosta that mine came from. I thought mine was large but it is a midget compared to this monster. I should have asked one of my classmates to stand next to it to give it some scale. Suffice it to say, it is the largest hosta I have ever seen.


At 1:07 AM, Blogger Sandy said...

Good for you on taking the photograghy course. I love learning something new!

At 10:15 AM, Blogger crazygramma said...

I like your photos and thank you for sharing some of the tips. I will remember to avoid taking pictures from now one when the sun is glaring

At 3:43 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Sandy - now that my offspring is off on her own, I can pursue my own interests and widen my horizons.

Crazygramma - I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and the tips. You would think that bright sunshine would be a good thing and not a bad thing!

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Judith said...

Yes, those photo tips are important ones. I tend to learn by trial & error. And everybody wonders why I get upset when we arrive to visit a garden on a bright sunny, high noon-time day....I do use a tripod, it isn't one on 3 legs, there is an easier one that is one leg & doesn't stick in the ground--I put my digital camera on that. I love that you take courses! I do too and find it is what keeps me going. I like that you are already familiar with the gardens you photographed during class! Great post!

At 4:30 AM, Blogger Alice said...

Thank you for your tips on taking garden photos. Digital cameras are such a blessing in that you can keep clicking until you get a good photo.

At 2:16 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Judith, thanks for the heads up on the tripod. I think I could manage one leg much better than three.

Alice, I love that I don't have to worry about running out of film or the cost of developing the film. So I can try different angles, different heights and different distances to get just the right picture.


Post a Comment

<< Home