Gear for Garden Photography

8x10 Dahlia_BellevueBG-WA_LAH_6725_filteredIf 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. (more…)

The Purpose-Driven Photo

Rosa_Rose_Columbus-OH_LAH_3536Perhaps you want to hang a huge framed photo of your prize roses over the couch. Or maybe you see some striking flowers in someone else’s garden, and you want to grow them at home—but you don’t know what they are. Maybe you simply want to record where you plant your tulips this fall, so you don’t bury them under a new perennial  come spring. I’ve taken photos for all of these reasons and more.

Perhaps the first and most important consideration when it comes to garden photography is to make clear in your mind just why you’re taking a particular photo. If you don’t have a specific goal, it’s very difficult to accomplish it!


A Garden Photo Contest

Are you a gardener? Do you take photos of your plants? If so, you might want to know about the National Gardening Association’s annual photo contest.

I hesitated to share this with you—after all, I intend to enter and advertising the contest just increases my competition. On the other hand, I love seeing the pictures other photographers create. You give me ideas. You inspire me. I can learn from you.

If you need some help, I’ll be posting a series on garden photography—after the contest ends! ( I know. I’m being mean.) Meanwhile, you can look at all the photos I’ve included in my garden posts over the years. Then check out the series I did a while back on bird photography. Many of the techniques and tips are the same. Simply type “photography” in the blog search box, or choose “Photography” from the drop-down category list at right.

I’ll look forward to seeing your entries.

Parting Shots

As the year quickly passes into history, I traditionally post some “parting shots.” This year’s photos were all taken on our trip to Australia this fall. I hope they bring a smile as we finish 2016.

(You can see previous years’ pictures by typing “parting shots” into the search box in the upper right hand column.)


Australian White Ibis, near Daintree Village, QLD


Bird Photography: Light

12 x 18 Crowned CraneThe word “photography” means “writing with light,” and the right lighting can make the difference between a ho-hum snapshot and an award-winning photograph. But what is the “right” lighting? And how do you take advantage of it?

In general, photographers think of light as coming from one of four directions—from the front, side, back, or overhead. Each of these has pros and cons, with widely varying results. Then there are different qualities of light, such as bright or soft. Different combinations of these conditions will greatly affect your results.


Bird Photography: Keep It Simple, Sweetie

Mountain Chickadee_StForestStPark-CO_Mountain Chickadee_StForestStPark-CO_LAH_0278You’re out birding and you see an adorable Mountain Chickadee, busily working over the scrub oak branch looking for a snack. Happily, you’ve got your camera, so you grab a few quick shots. But when you get home and enlarge them on your computer screen, you’re disappointed. The bird is cute, but it’s surrounded by brushy twigs and dead leaves.

As I scroll through photo after photo on my various Facebook photography sites, I’m struck by the stark disparity between the experienced photographers and the obvious beginners. There’s nothing wrong with being a beginner—we all had to start there—but there is a problem if you stay a beginner year after year.