Garden Photography:A Post Scriptum to a Previous Post
January 12, 2011
Allan in Gardening Tips & Advice, Musings on Gardening, garden photography, landscape photography

When I posted three photographs of flower beds at White Flower Farm, taken by Irene Jeruss, I neglected to pay attention to what made two out of the three photos so powerful. [Please scroll down to the previous post to have another look at them]

Then I read comments to that blog, posted by some readers who mentioned that photographing flower gardens are challenging. That reminded me of a conversation  I once had with a photographer friend. Photos of flower gardens are less satisfying than the real thing, he related, because the brain sees an image in three dimensions but a camera only captures that image in two dimensions. That may explain why many pictures of flower gardens, that we have seen and then photographed, are so disappointing. However, that alone did not explain the pleasurable effect that Ms. Jeruss’ pictures had on me and some of my readers.

I glanced back at the first two of her images and, this time, noticed what, I think, made them great. In each of the shots, she captured flowers in the foreground of the composition, i.e. she created perspective. Is that perspective a substitute for three dimensions and did it contribute to making the pictures so attractive?

To learn more, I contacted my photographer friend. He explained that there is a trick that some photographers use. When we look at pictures of open landscapes, he explained, our eyes fly all over the picture, never settling anywhere. However, when there is an object in the foreground, the eye grabs on and keeps the brain focused on it. Anchored to the foreground, our brain can now begin to explore and appreciate the landscape in the background. I hope I got that right.

The pervasive use of digital cameras among gardeners has made botanical photography an integral part of every day horticulture. In addition to learning how to use garden tools and gardening techniques, perhaps we also need to learn the tricks of the trade for successfully photographing landscapes. It is amazing how the continuous advances in technology touch our lives on so many levels.

Article originally appeared on Garden Design, Montreal, Perennial Flower Gardens, Gardening Tips, Gardening Advice, Gardening Book Reviews (http://allanbecker-gardenguru.squarespace.com/).
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