Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Garden

It’s finally spring where I live! The trees are budding and the first of the spring flowers are in bloom. The air has the smell of spring. I’ve gone out this week just to breath it in.

I’m shaking off my winter photographic blahs.

This week, the challenge is to go out and…

Photograph In the Garden

A bloom of imperfection

It doesn’t even have to be your garden. Mine is still in a frightful state. Go out and find a garden – your neighbor’s garden, a local park, a nearby botanical garden. See what’s in bloom.

I don’t photograph flowers very often, but there are exceptions. I get in the mood for some floral photography in the spring with the new blooms and sunflowers in the summer. If you photograph flowers a lot, stretch yourself and find a rare flower to photograph or the most colorful flowerbed you can find.

Photograph the flowers from a different angle or use a shallow depth of field for an artistic effect. If you’re more advanced, try focus stacking an image to get sharp focus throughout.

As I write this, the rain’s comes down, but as the saying goes “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” Don’t let rain sideline you this week, there’s nothing better than water drops on pedals or reflections in pools of water. You may get a bit wet, but the garden doesn’t mind.

Tulips in the Rain

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But flowers aren’t the only things you can photograph in a garden. I’ve just been judging a photo competition for a local nature society. I was judging the “Invertebrate” category so I was looking at a lot of bugs. Very well photographed insects, indeed!

I can never quite get the little critters to stand still long enough to be photographed, but I try. The trick is to get close and capture the insect in sharp focus, especially in the eye. This is hard to do, but some of the photographer’s really nailed it. Many photographers use specialist equipment like macro lenses for this type of photography. All the successful images, filled the frame with the insect whether by getting close or cropping in tightly.

Butterflies are more my speed.
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Some other things I admired about the successful images were the photographers’ ability to isolate the subject, making the background less important using shallow depth of field or finding a neutral background. The best images showed the insect from an interesting angle (including a dragon fly flying upside-down) or doing something particularly quintessential – in one case, eating another insect – yummm!

You don’t have to travel far for this particular challenge. I did a project last summer to find a dozen or more interesting images in my own garden for an entire week. It was an exercise in seeing. Step out of your own door and challenge yourself to find interesting shapes and textures in a familiar place.

Photos from one day in my garden

Look for layers and colors and design. Well-done landscaping has an architecture all of its own. My hiking buddy likes nothing better than to look at little English gardens. She studies them and admires the design. There is diversity in texture, shape, and color yet all the plants seem to fit together to form an impression on the eye. This is what I admire so much in the Japanese garden of our local botanical gardens.

Summer scene from the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Don’t forget the people in the garden. It may be the nature and the scents wafting on the breeze, but everyone seems so relaxed in a garden.

Feel free to be adventurous this week. You don’t have to highlight the color of the garden.

I wish on you all lots of beautiful spring weather this week. Get out and enjoy it – and grab your camera on the way out the door!

For more photos, follow me on social media: Facebook,Instagram, Website, Flickr

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