Archive for November 12th, 2009

Shadow play

Over the months since I discovered it, I have found Gardening Gone Wild to be quite an inspirational blog.   GGW is a blog that is run by a group of garden professionals ranging from designers and horticulturalists to photographers, including people who have written and/or done the photography for books on the subject of gardening.

As a general rule, the posts are packed with information and ideas.   It is evident that the people who are “in charge” of the blog are aware that their audience is made up of an extremely eclectic group, from other professionals to rank beginners in both gardening and photography.   I have found them to be kind and willing to go the extra distance to answer questions when they are posed.   Reading the blog and participating in the workshop posts and contests has made me a better gardener and determined to be a better photographer.

Recently we were invited By Debra Baldwin to share in a post regarding the role shadows can play in our garden photography.   It is a surprisingly difficult subject, actually, because the strong light that is required for shadows to be cast often makes a great photograph difficult to capture.  However, I am fascinated by the subject and have a few pictures I think are good enough to share.

I love the way shadows bring out the shape and texture of flowers.   Here are a few where the shadows in the blossoms really make the subject sparkle.  First is a moon flower, taken at sunset.

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My next favorite flower is a Tulipa acuminata I had blossoming this spring.  I have featured this picture in the blog before, simply because I just love the way the petal shadows illuminate the blossom.


I am fascinated by the bearded iris.   I truly love them when they are sprinkled with rain or dew, but this afternoon shot of the rebloomer “Belvi Queen” I got a couple of weeks ago just leaves me breathless every time I go back to it.


I really like the shadow of the clematis seed head in the next shot.   It brings out the spiral pattern nicely.

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One day I noticed the shadows on one of the garden benches I have in the pergola.   I spent a lot of time taking pictures of this, and every once in a while I come back to the subject.   The shadows are different every day.


Last winter I was captivated by the patterns the shadows of grass and snow made in the labyrinth paths.


Grasses are a natural for shadow shots, but it is surprisingly difficult to get a really good one.   This is from the Petite Prairie.


You can bet I’ll be looking for more shadow compositions after this exercise.   It was amazing to me how often I choose not to go out and take pictures when the sun is bright.   But the challenge of getting a spectacular shot when the light wants to wash out everything is worth taking up.  I’ll be looking for more opportunities to play with this idea.

Thanks to Debra Baldwin for her great post and the inspiration.

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