Friday, June 6, 2014

Garden Photography - Dream With Open Eyes

Garden photography by Rosie Nixon
Do you take photos of your garden? I don't just take photos ... I grow photos!  and I've some exciting news to share with you.

A few weeks ago Elspeth Briscoe from My Garden School.com asked me to write a blog post on garden photography.  Some of you may never have heard of this website before so let me explain a little more.  My Garden School is the worlds first online garden school where you can learn from the top professional experts; in your own home anywhere in the world.  Elspeth told me that I'd be in good company as internationally acclaimed garden designers such as Noel Kingsbury and John Brookes write for the website.  I have some of their books on my bookshelf!

Andy McIndoe is known to many of you here in the UK as a garden author,designer and broadcaster.  If you'd watched the BBC coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show this year you would have seen him speaking about the Plant of the Year Hydrangea macrophylla 'Miss Saori' on his stand at Hilliers Nurseries.  Andy is also the chief blogger over on the My Garden school blog so it's a real privilege to share 'internet real estate' space with him along with Elspeth.   

You'll need to click on this link to read my article: I Grow Photos where I ask fellow gardeners what it is about taking photographs of their gardens that appeals so much to them.   You're very welcome to reshare it too.

I grow photos by Rosie Nixon on My Garden School.com
I grow Photos



I know that many of you already take lots of photos as I visit your blogs and get to see your lovely garden images throughout the seasons.  I even photograph some of you when you're in my garden.  
a woman taking photos of flowers using a table
Capturing a visitor to the leavesnbloom garden taking photos of my flowers
Not all my readers have garden blogs and I know that many of you never take photographs of your own garden.  Garden photography can help to record all those garden milestones that you might forget about in the future.  From the fresh new growth in Spring and ultimately the flowers, fruit and autumn colours; these can all be captured and used as your own digital journal.  

Thalictrum aquifolium (meadow-rue)
Thalictrum aquifolium (meadow-rue) at sunset

Garden photography is like another language that anyone anywhere in the world can understand.  You're involved 'in the moment' and you take the time and diligence to capture that moment.  It's not done hastily but great care and thought goes into the whole process.  You're not just taking a photo you're making one that will tell a story ...a story that means something to you.  

When you share those photos you might even inspire others to try to grow something new or give them ideas on planting combinations in their own borders. 
Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'  Wallflower
Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'  Wallflower

Ernst Haas once said that taking photos was like dreaming with open eyes.
You become things, you become an atmosphere, and if you become it, which means you incorporate it within you, you can also give it back. You can put this feeling into a picture. A painter can do it ...a musician can do it and I think a photographer can do that too and that I would call the dreaming with open eyes."
a 7 spot ladybird on the pink columbine flowers
a 7 spot ladybird on the pink columbine flowers that grow along side the perennial wallflower and meadow rue


So what about you; do you 'dream with open eyes' ?
I know that I do and if you still need a little more convincing then pop over  to my post and read how other gardeners feel about garden photography - I grow photos

Thanks for stopping by today and I would love to hear from you.  Please feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments section.

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11 comments:

  1. I've only recently started taking photographs in the garden, along with Other Half, and we've found it an enjoyable if at times acutely frustrating thing to do. Why does a breeze always spring up at exactly the wrong moment? It's also an extremely good way of recording what is happening in the garden from year to year.

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    1. Oh don't tell me about that breeze! usually I have to wait until later in the day as things seem to calm down in the evenings.

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  2. I really enjoyed the article, a great read with wonderful photos (and adore the Thalictrum photo here!). Well done Rosie!

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    1. Many thanks Mandy for the visit and the encouragment :)

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  3. I loved reading your post, because it's one of the things I love a lot: my garden and to take pictures of all I can get all the time if possible. And I dream with open eyes! ..... I love your dreamy images, they are so beautiful ... Yes, like dreamed with open eyes! :o)

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  4. A quick visit today. Nice to stop by. JC

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  5. Hi Rosie,

    I do love to take photos in my garden and I think sometimes they turn out better than the photos of people! I might be ready for a new camera, have two now. I have the big one that I hate to lug around and a small one that has a great lens that I can carry anywhere, but every year there are new and better ones out there.

    Eileen

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  6. Oh Rosie such the perfect blog you took the words right out of my mouth and even though I don't have a garden but, one little patio pot but, a few house plants I have the world as my garden to make up for it.

    You enquired me to start a *phlog* is what I like to call my blog a place where I can blog about my photographs.

    Thank you so much for everything Rosie you're so awesome my friend! ��

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  7. I don't think I dream with open eyes but I do know my photography helps me see the world - really see it - see it in the kind of detail I would never notice if I didn't have to stop and choose a frame and focus. I'm not sure I could live happily without a camera and a laptop so I can see the pictures.

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  8. I have only just come across this article as I think you have fallen off my Wordpress reader; a fate that seems to befall many of the bloggers that I follow at some point of another.
    I too take macro photographs of my garden and some of them work out well, but yours have a real magic to them that I am still lacking. I think I am able to photograph what is there, but maybe lack the imagination to capture the picture in a different way. Perhaps it comes with practise? Your photographs are amazing and a real inspiration to the rest of us. One question, though - How do you get just the right colour backdrop to your macro photographs? Do I need to use something like Photoshop or is it a matter of clever positioning?

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    1. I took a blog sabbatical as I was doing an intensive photography course during the summer - so may be that's why I 'fell off' your reader. Part of the art of macro photography is having a background to the subject that gives a sense of place but at the same time doesn't distract. I'll reject a photograph if it isn't isolated well enough from my background - photoshop doesn't enter the equation - it's the art of composition and sometimes I can spend up to an hour working with a particular flower to get the right background.

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Rosie

 

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