I suppose if someone asked me the question, “What is your favorite thing to photograph?” I’d have to say flowers. And Scout. That’s two things, but can you blame me? Scout is Miss Photogenic. Anyway, flowers, especially if they are from my garden, are my favorite subjects. With my newish camera, I am able to capture so much more detail and that makes me very happy. I love to slowly walk around the garden and play with my camera.
Let me be clear. I’m strictly an amateur. But I’m learning all the time. I took these photos yesterday and I thought it might be fun to share the reasons why they made the final cut for this post – why I like them.
What I like about this photo: The detail on the tiny spirea buds, that portions of the spirea bloom are in focus while the rest is blurred, that the hydrangea in the background is blurred – you can tell I love this effect – and surprise, surprise, that some wonderful bokeh appeared. Bokeh is the way the lens renders out of focus points of light. See those golden orbs on the right in the background? Bokeh. One of the things I couldn’t wait to play with when I got this camera was bokeh. In fact, one of my first photos was capturing the bokeh of Christmas tree lights. I was like a kid in a candy store.
Plus, this photo shows the three stages of a spirea flower. Bud, flower and spent flower. Nifty!
What I like about this photo: the flowers of the cosmos aren’t centered, they’re off to the right and in the lower left hand corner. The texture of the green leaves predominates with a splash of orange and yellow – all of it against the siding on the house. I like things a bit off-center.
Sometimes I get lucky and the flower, in this case, my limelight hydrangea, gets framed by a black background, which makes it all the more striking. Add to that the patterns of light and shadow on the hydrangea with the just-starting-to-turn-pink petals and I end up with a winner with a sense of mystery. Gotta love mystery.
What I like about this photo: the shallow depth of field, which blurs the background (by now you can tell I love doing this) and focuses on the vines and buds of the morning glory. I took this photo to capture the little ant on the bud. Also love the purple of the vine contrasted with the green leaves and buds. The buds and vines are concentrated on the left side of the photo. A little off-center again. (Maybe this attracts me because I’m more than a bit off-center?)
For every photo I get that’s usable, there are many, many more that aren’t. I take scads of shots because I’m never sure what the end result will be. I know what I want it to be, but again, I’m just learning, so it’s all up for grabs. And sometimes there is a happy surprise that is totally unexpected.
What I like about this photo: I went in for the shot wanting to capture the texture of the now brown bee balm against the green background of the garden. Blurred background: check. Bokeh: check. The surprise? The gossamer web-like strands that extend on either side of the bee balm. I didn’t see that when I was taking the photo, but there it is. I love that.
Sometimes, editing and enlarging a photo results in a wonderful surprise.
Here’s another one, which will also leads me to a question:
I took this photo on the porch. See the gossamer strand extending upward from the flowers? An unexpected delight. I like the contrast between the white porch railing with its aging paint and the texture of the vine. Blurred background again. Do you see a pattern here?
Okay, here’s my question for all you gardeners out there. In the two weeks since my last visit home, this appeared on the porch railing:
It has wrapped and re-wrapped itself around the railing and is now making its way to the glider. You can see the pale flowers in the previous photo. I’ve seen it up in the wilder portions of the back forty, as well. Does anyone know what this is? The leaves are heart-shaped, the flowers are delicate and tiny. Is it a weed? Is it a wildflower vine? Anyone?
I’d love to figure this one out. Though I didn’t plant it, I rather like the way it has artfully made a home on the porch.