Long time readers of this blog may remember when Saxon Holt wrote about hardy succulents way back in 2009. In that post, he talked about the challenges of choosing photos for a gardening book that will have a national audience. Today he shares some tips about photographing ornamental grasses. It’s part of a blog tour to promote his series of photograpy eBooks. Comment at the end of this post for a chance to win a free copy of Think Like A Gardener.So read on and then comment to enter the giveaway. Good luck!
Tips for Photographing Grasses
By Saxon Holt
It’s almost autumn and grasses are ready to be photographed. They are in full bloom by now, carrying the load of garden showstoppers from late summer into autumn, until heavy snows beat them down.
But photographing these wispy things can be a challenge, unless you think like a gardener and show them in exactly the way you appreciate them yourself.
In the late summer garden our native switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, gets fall color, so show it. Show it as a mass of wispy color.Fill the frame of your camera like a canvas. Don’t waste any space.
Because they are so wispy, they can disappear against the background.I tried isolating this fescue against a path but it simply blended in. Ah, but if I get down to a lower point of view, it sets itself off from the dark border beyond, and the path disappears. Grasses often look most dramatic when they catch the light coming through the garden, especially when you find those dark backgrounds. Use the light coming from behind, backlight, and shoot toward the sun to get the grass to glow. If you are not careful with backlight the sun will flare into the lens, so a lens shade can be really helpful. Though the mood of the sun flare can be a nice look too, don’t you think ?
It’s a great time of year for grasses, a great time to go play with your camera. Go out into the garden and play. Be thinking about what you really see.
So who wants to win a copy of Think Like A Gardener?
I was given a review copy of Think Like A Gardener, and I’m impressed.
If you want to be a garden photographer you need to think like a gardener. You are not just taking a picture of a landscape, you are photographing a garden.–Saxon Holt
Think Like A Gardener helps you to understand the difference and let it inform your photography. There are six lessons in the ninety-page book:
- Design and Space
- Weather, Moods, and Seasons
- Using the Light
- Finding a Theme
- Photographing Garden Plants
The concepts for each lesson are thoroughly explained and generously illustrated. At the end of each lesson you are given an assignment to complete.
Two commenters will be chosen using the random number generator. You need to include a valid email address (check for typos!) because not only will winners be notified by email, but they will be sent a special code via email to enable them to download the book for free. Giveaway closes on September 22, 2015 at 11:59pm Eastern time. I’ll let you all know who won the following day.
But wait! There’s more!
We have a whole week of photo tips written just for you! Visit the other blogs on the blog tour for more how-to’s and a chance to win one of Saxon Holt’s photography ebooks from PhotoBotanic.
Here’s the schedule:
Wednesday, 9/9 Red Dirt Ramblings(Hurry! Her giveaway ends tonight!)
Thursday, 9/10 Digging(Hurry! Her giveaway ends tonight!)
Friday, 9/11 J Peterson Garden Design(Hurry! Her giveaway ends tonight!)
Monday, 9/14 North Coast Gardening
Tuesday, 9/15 Cold Climate Gardening(Right here!)
Wednesday, 9/16 Garden Rant
Saxon is also hosting an end of summer photography contest where tour visitors can put their newly found skills to work. Visit Gardening Gone Wild on September 25 to submit your photo entry.
Ginger and Monira were randomly selected to win copies of Saxon Holt’s Think Like A Gardener. Thank you to everyone who took time to comment. This giveaway is over, but there’s still time to enter the photo contest at Gardening Gone Wild.