OK, a little play on an old phrase, but as I was putting together a PowerPoint presentation on “Garden Photography”, that saying really hit home! The thousands of pictures I have taken of plants , creatures, and layouts in our garden documented the fruits of our labor as a gardener in ways that are impossible to express in words. So, get that camera out and start clicking, if you are not already doing so, but with fair warning – garden photography can be very addictive. WHY?
It lures you into the garden more often — with fringe benefits.
- Your garden gets periodic health inspections,
- New happenings are timely discovered,
- Problems are timely noted and handled, and
- Mental planning occurs as you browse around..
Captures seasonal garden changes
Captures details your eye often misses
Captures a garden history over time
Provides a means of sharing your garden with others
Expends appreciation of the garden – how it helps the environment
Enables re-visiting prior times & gardens, and brings back memories
Looking at beautiful pictures of your garden, plants you have grown, and nature’s visitors in prime time helps fight the depression of seeing what your garden looks like in down time! Yes, I mean the dead of winter.
No garden remains static from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year. Every day you walk the garden looking for photo ops provides a one-time opportunity to capture something you may never see again.
Take panorama (broad view) photos, macro (close up detail) photos, and photos of everything that affects or resides in your garden, good, bad, beautiful, ugly — it’s all fair game and part of documenting and learning. Finding unique artistic photo compositions is exciting. There is plenty of material to work with in the garden.
Garden compositions to look for include:
- Complimentary, and/or contrasting color combinations and backgrounds
- Interesting and contrasting textures
- Adjoining complimentary items (natural or man-made)
- Striking ornamental features
- Different angles of the same object
- Assembled compositions (e.g. arrangements of potted plants)
- Detailed patterns and symmetry
- Any unique oddities
The biggest problem you may have is how to organize the many photos in some meaningful way. With about 9,000 pictures of plants, gardens, past and present, I have yet to satisfactorily solve that. But the camera will keep on clicking!
No camera is perfect, so take many shots. Pick and select the best.
Most shots need some graphic enhancement Learn how to use your image software features, (e.g. color adjustment, definition, brightness, cropping). BUT NEVER enhance images beyond what your eye actually saw.
Collages save space & can be used effectively for comparative images E.G. this collage compares the three flowering colors of Hesperaloe that are available.
A blog has it’s limitations as to how many pictures that can be posted so I developed a Facebook page, “The Xeriphytic Yard” in which I post a multitude of garden photos. If on Facebook, look it up and “like” it so you can get notified of my frequent garden picture additions.
So look at your camera as a garden tool. It adds a new dimension to your gardening enjoyment. I conclude with a little poetic ditty and food for thought.