|The colours on these Honesty seedpods are perfect for a watercolour sketch|
Photography in the garden or
when out and about has surely never been so easy, whether using an iPhone or
iPad or similar, or a simple digital camera. It depends what you want to use
the images for – ‘happy snaps’, slide show on your TV, online in blogs or
social media, or to obtain prints. How fortunate we gardeners are to HAVE
digital facilities – remember the days when you used film and had to wait for
the prints to come back from processing, by which time that beautiful flower
had faded and you could not capture it again. Now, you can even check your
images as you take them; and you don’t have to pay for poor shots to be
|I loved the drama of this shot|
In this first of two posts offering tips
for photography in the garden, I am assuming that you will be happily snapping
away whilst on holiday, maybe when visiting National Trust properties.
Recording what inspires you allows you to more easily replicate ideas at home,
though of course a ‘grand design’ would be impossible. I am not a professional
photographer, though I do take images to accompany my magazine features and
online work. It isn’t just flowers or produce that interests me, but the
unexpected. I walked around the topiary box looking for a dramatic shot that
had the house (Canons Ashby, Northants) in the background whilst shooting using
background defocus and out of the sun.
|Oops! What can I do with this?|
As I also use my images to make travels
journals and stitched textile booklets, I always like to ‘set the scene’ –
always a good idea anyway as a reminder of where you have been. I waited for
ages to catch the image of the gates without throngs of people in the
background and was in such a hurry to press the shutter whilst no-one was in
view that a wonky shot resulted.
|Corrected, but pillars part-missing|
Luckily, there was sufficient image at
either side of the pillars for me to manipulate the shot on the laptop and then
crop without losing too much of the stone ‘frame’.
|Too fussy; the door detracts from what I wanted to convey|
On the hunt for architectural features
and backgrounds to the decorative borders, and to fragrant herbs asking to be
touched, I decided to experiment with the shapes of the stone steps. I could
not manourvre into a position that gave me what I was seeking, and even though
I cropped the shot twice when back home, it was fussy and not what I wanted.
|Cropped, but in losing the door, I also lose the top of the window frame|
|Cropped again, but now the attractive angles of the steps are lost.|
In circumstances such as these, I
deliberately take a number of shots, focussing in this case on the gigantic
stone ball. So I zoomed in on just the ball in front of the window, but made
the stupid error of placing the ball centrally in the frame. Too static; no
|Off-centre, this is more dramatic|
So I took it again, moving the camera
slightly to the left, which also virtually eliminated the step so the eye is
drawn to the incongruity of this giant stone set against a tiny but perfect
window. I have used this as an example of pausing before shooting to analyse
what one is taking and for what purpose. Next week, I will move onto plants.
And for those who are interest, I use a Sony Nex-5 camera with detachable 18-55
zoom (F3.5-5.6) Zeiss lens and a 7.5cm LCD – you can ‘compose’ your image on
screen. It goes everywhere with me!
All these images were taken to illustrate some of the thought processes behind shooting on location.
Labels: cameras, images, National Trust, photo manipulation, photography