What were those vibrant pink flowers? They were definitely show-stoppers, especially as they were spilling out of planters crammed full of flowers in other shades of pink plus various yellows—creamy white Cockscombs (Celosia cristata), pale pink, ruffled Cosmos and darker pink Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena), butterscotch-yellow Lantana, Petunias in either a lush purplish-pink or a pale cream with yellow throats, and finally, bright lemon Flowering Maple (Abutilon). Whoever had designed the display, situated along the walkway in front of the greenhouses at Denver Botanic Gardens, clearly had a good eye for shapes and colors. Continue reading “Pretty Purslane?”
I was looking through my camera downloads for blog-topic inspiration when I noticed that I have many lovely photos of pretty flowers, but no idea what they are. Some were taken in exotic (at least compared to Colorado) locales, others at our local gardens. It’s past time I get around to identifying these plants. And if I have a need to identify my mystery plants, maybe you do too. Here is how I go about putting names to pretty plant faces.
Continue reading “What Plant is This?”
My final post on photographing plants, in all their forms, deals with one of my favorite aspects of photography—color. My dad was an avid photographer as well, but he preferred to shoot a medium format camera loaded with black and white film. Then he’d disappear into his darkroom and spend hours dodging and burning, doing his best to emulate Ansel Adams.
Me? I want color, and the more, the better. Happily, gardens are colorful places.
Continue reading “Plant Photography: Color”
Last month I wrote about keeping your photo simple—isolating the subject and avoiding distractions. But there’s much more to composition, many more ways to make your photos terrific. Here are a few tips and suggestions you may find helpful. Continue reading “Plant Photography: Composition”
The fun part of taking pictures of plants is going out into the garden, admiring all the flowers, and creating magnificent photos. The not-as-fun part is understanding the technology behind your images. Yet, if you’re going to get great shots, you need to know a little about how your camera works.
Continue reading “Plant Photography: Settings”
You’ve got a camera. You’ve acquired a few lenses. You’re eager to get out into the garden and start creating photos. And you can certainly do so, right now. However, there are a few additional accessories that will enhance your photo experience. What else should you add to your camera bag?
My top priority would be an extra battery, and another memory card. Batteries have improved drastically since the early days of digital photography. I used to go through two sets of four AA batteries in a single afternoon. Now my camera battery lasts two days, or more. Still, there’s nothing so frustrating as being in the middle of a photo shoot and realizing that your battery just died. Carry a charged spare!
Continue reading “Garden Photography: Accessories”
If you read last month’s post, you now know why you’re taking garden photos. The next question is, what kind of camera do you need? Cameras range from simple point-and-shoot models to the camera in your phone to professional DSLRs. While there’s a lot of truth that you get what you pay for, all of them take photos.
At least to start with, use the camera you have. Yes, you’ll have more creative latitude with extra lenses, camera features, and other equipment, but keep in mind that most important part of the process is the photographer. Continue reading “Gear for Garden Photography”
Does this pink look too garish? Should I match it with orange—or cream? Or would the gray be better? One of my favorite aspects of gardening is coordinating flowers. Sure, each plant is a beauty all on its own but, just as a decorator pulls together matching and contrasting colors to produce a total look, so the creative gardener selects flower and leaf colors that complement one another, creating a composite whole that outshines any single plant.
The first summer in our new home, we simply added basic landscaping—retaining walls, trees, large shrubs, planters, and the lawn. Our yard was mostly mulch with little green dots scattered throughout. Think of a living room with the couch, a couple of chairs, and an end table or two, but no rug on the floor, pictures on the wall, pillows on the couch, or books on the coffee table. It looked pretty bare. Continue reading “Garden Synergy”
If you’re looking for an indestructible perennial to grow along Colorado’s Front Range, you can’t beat bearded irises. They’re tough, hardy to zone 3. They’re drought tolerant. They aren’t fussy about soil. Deer and rabbits leave them alone (for the most part). And they come in nearly every color in the rainbow—and then some. How can you lose?
Continue reading “Bearded Irises”
It’s easy to understand why we want to include Sweet William, Lamb’s Ears, or Love-in-a-Mist in our gardens. Their whimsical names make us smile. On the other hand, it’s surprising anyone grows plants with names such as fumewort, blood lily, or wormwood. They sound awful! In fact, these plants are quite beautiful, as you can see below (clockwise from upper right).
Continue reading “Lungwort—Prettier than it Sounds”