Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The pleasure of our gardens, part 6

One of the joys of having a garden filled with perennials is they provide endless photographic opportunities ~ year after year.

The moderate Bay Area climate is great not only for year-round gardening, but also for taking pictures of flowers year-round. Digital photography makes it simple and fun, and enhances their natural beauty.

While photographing our gardens over the past decade has evolved from using color film to today's instant-gratification of digital, it remains a learning process for me.

For the past two and one-half years, I have photographed our gardens using an inexpensive, lightweight Canon PowerShot A570 IS (4X Optical Zoom, 7.1 Mega Pixels) camera. Most of my flower pictures are shot using either the auto focus or landscape setting and, since I shoot mostly during daylight hours, the auto-flash remains turned off.

I try to keep a few, simple things in mind when photographing our flowers:
* Composition and light are vital to a picture's success.
* Frame the shot with the aid of the zoom lens. Some subjects lend themselves to being photographed horizontally while others are better shot vertical.
* Get in close to the subject, even if it means getting down on your hands and knees.
* Experiment with angle, shooting down on the subject or up at it.
* Don't be afraid to move the subject off-center.
* Shoot at sunrise or sunset for scenic value.

Whether it's documenting our new calla lilies blooming in late winter, the arrival of irises in early April, the purple blooms of rhododendrons in May, or the multi-colored varieties of roses throughout summer and autumn, our gardens perennially reward us with colorful scenery.

No matter the time of year, there's always a flower worthy of a good picture.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful roses--and as a photographer, if I may...Mike, does your camera have a setting choice with a flower or something similar on it? If so, I would recommend activating it when shooting flowers, esp. when within 1-2' or less. If you'll notice on the larger rose shot, the leaves are more in focus, than the actual flower. The little flower setting rather than the landscape setting will help the camera focus on a subject that is closer to the camera. Let me know if it works! (I have a bach photo degree and my husb is a photo teacher! :-) Love the blog, keep it up!!!