I bet you think I’m going to recite the tenets of garden photography for you. No such luck. What I’m offering instead is this intriguing article about travel photography – and here I’m veering perilously close to off-topic – but let’s see how they translate to our world.
The first advice is to not cut off people’s feet, which makes me wonder: is there a plant part that, if cut off, spoils the photo? And the admonition to avoid telephone poles coming out of your subject applies equally well to plant subjects as to human. But really, there’s lots more useful stuff here, like the fact that we usually see the subject, not the whole frame, and we should always "check the borders." And my favorite – a discussion of qualities of light that goes beyond the avoid-harsh-sun advice we see everywhere to describe "sweet light" and suggest that flash be only during the day, never at night. I just love that counterintuitive stuff!!
Specific to travel, photographers are reminded to catch these elements: people, scenics, details, food, movement, action, and nightlife. So what do you suppose the must-shoot elements would be in gardening photography? Maybe entrances, whole borders, close-ups, small plant combinations, animals, and such hardscape as seating, stone, wood, and statuary. Sandy and Judith, I want to hear from you guys especially.[Photo of "begging boobies" taken in the Galapagos Islands by my friend Julie Miller. The trip was a digital photography adventure led by photographer/teacher Eliot Cohen. Check out the "Personal" part of his portfolio, especially the totally cool panos. Oh, hell, while I’m handing out links here’s one to the magazine Julie edits – Science News. Its coverage of the hot-button issue of invasive plants has been excellent.]