Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring has Sprung...almost

OK one of my passions on the side is gardening, landscaping design and English Roses. The latter I was turned onto when a friend of mine started growing the David Austin English Roses. They are these wonderful hybrids matching old roses with modern roses where they have the look and aroma's of old roses but repeat bloom like modern hybrid teas. I got out of control when I was introduced to a friend of hers that is a master pruner over at the Huntington Library in San Marino. Tamora is my favorite of the breed but its not in bloom, yet. One of his earlier, semi-doubles "Peach Blossom" is starting to bloom and I have included pics in today's entry.

Shooting in my garden is one of the added benefits to all the work. I've been at it for years and enjoy it tremendously. I love to take the viewer into the floral and let you really see it up close and personal. Its startling on how much detail is in any given plant when you take the time to look at it.

Isolating the flower or plant material can be tricky as the back ground can have a lot of unwanted stuff. Controlling lighting at times needs to be done and for that I use reflectors and shade cloth to keep the contrast within reason on the plant itself. The best reflector yet is a matte white poster board as you can bend to "wrap" the light around the blossom and keep just enough contrast to keep the details.

Letting the backgrounds go completely out of focus helps keep the flower the center of attention. Those backgrounds I manage too at times with variegated backdrops made from poster board to keep the distractions to a minimum.
Time of day affects the quality of light. Mornings and afternoons the shadows tend to be a bit "bluer" which isn't a problem if your flowers are in sunlight. The warmer tones of early morning really make the blossoms pop against the bluer backgrounds of the shaded areas. Always a plus in my book when nature provides the drama in the scene.

Enjoy the "Peach Blossom" in its phases of bloom!

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