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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The right light

The past few days have been increasingly frustrating for me when it comes to taking photos in my garden. It prompted me to post about garden photography. I'm not by any means a professional photographer but my photos have been chosen to grace the front cover and inside of chapter of a gardening book a few years ago and they've been posted here for a few years now.

First of all, I use a simple point and shoot digital camera. It's not even a newer model but it has an excellent zoom lens which was my first criteria. So fair warning, my tips are not applicable to the super deluxe cameras that are out on the market.

Lighting is a big key factor in garden photography. The absolute best light is a good cloud cover. Full sun or early morning sun is very hard for me to work with.

The opening shot was taken in full late afternoon sun which can sometimes be used to your advantage. The flower is Campanula punctata which is just a pale creamy pink on the outside. What's cool about this shot is that the bloom is almost translucent and the spotting you see is actually on the inside of the bloom.

Here's the same flower taken on a cloudy day (see the sky?) and from underneath so you can see the spots. By the way, those power lines just totally ruin the photo. Never forget to look around inside your frame and make sure that there aren't other distractions in the background.


Working in the shade can bring another set of problems. I took quite a few photos of my Hydrangea blooms in hopes of getting one with enough clarity to crop and zoom. This isn't close to what I'd like to have but good enough to share.

Blues and sometimes magenta pinks are just impossible to capture. In the days of film, it was very hard to be able to capture the blues and I'm still having the same problem with digital cameras. In real life these blooms don't look like they have some terrible fungus growing on them. Yuck!

Here I was able to capture the color pretty well but unfortunately the strong dappled lighting coming through the trees creates shadows that distract you from the true beauty of these Hydrangeas.

By the way, forget the roses, give me Hydrangeas any day. My next garden is going to be chock full of these luscious, romantic blooms.

Last week I was complaining about the never ending rainy season we were having. One advantage though was the hundreds and hundreds of photos I was able to take.

So cross your fingers for me, I'd love just a half hour of cloud cover in the morning so I can take some more pictures to share with you.

Melanie

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the good tips! I love hydrangeas, too, and enjoy your pictures. Lilacs are my favorite. Neither does very well in the Arizona desert where I live so I appreciate seeing all of your beautiful plants!
- Daisy

mosaicqueen said...

Your photos are delightful!! I truly need a new camera. I just have a cheap Kodak and I really find it difficult to capture a really good picture.....especially close-up.
I, too, LOVE the Hydrangeas! Cannot really grow them here (too hot) but I did find a variety that did actually bloom for me this Spring and so far the heat has not burned it to hell.
Roses, on the other hand do very, very well here in Arizona.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful pics!
Michelle

Tootsie said...

very pretty photos!!!

Joanne said...

Melanie
A very helpful post. I am just getting to know a new camera and have not been blogging for long only since February so any hints on photography are appreciated.