Revisiting “How to Grow Your Garden Photography Skills”

24 03 2014

It’s (almost) that time again! Time to get out your camera (and your macro lens, if you’re fortunate to have one!) and get out in the garden to start capturing images of early spring flowers. (And if you don’t have a tripod, please get one. As much as you may not like toting one around, they are instrumental in capturing really sharp macro images; trust me on this!)

In my front yard garden, I already have purple crocus in bloom and the Hellebores have been blooming since February (hardy and eager plants, those Hellebores!). The tulips will probably be in bloom in a couple of weeks. Even though spring officially started this past Thursday, apparently Mother Nature has different ideas for us—snow is predicted for our area this coming Tuesday! (UG)

Two years ago I was interviewed and featured on the Nikonusa.com website about photographing gardens. Since the weather is getting warmer every day and early spring flowers are making their appearance in our part of the country, I thought I’d share the article and accompanying photos with you again! Click on the link below:

http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Techniques/gr35ffdt/all/How-To-Grow-Your-Garden-Photography-Skills.html





Hellebore bloom

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

Check out my newly-updated Zenfolio botanical gallery here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hellebores in bloom

25 03 2010

As promised, new garden photos—I shot these early this morning in our front yard garden. After dropping off (yet more) donations to the Salvation Army, Michael and I spent an hour photographing blooms at Green Spring Gardens. More flower photos to come!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Hellebore tryst

31 03 2009

Afternoon delight at Green Spring Gardens © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

helleboretryst





This post is brought to you by the color pink.

31 01 2009

I apologize in advance if this ginormous collage crashes your system. I realize I got a little carried away with my collection. Pink just plum took over. 

(Oh, and do be patient while the collage loads. It might take a little longer than usual, but I promise it is worth the wait.)

If your system does lock up, you could also blame my blogger friends (and my Dad):

Jan at www.ThanksFor2Day.blogspot.com
Heather at http://mommymirandamusings.blogspot.com/
GG at http://fishandfrog-turtleandblog.blogspot.com/ 
Dad at his eBay store here (which was apparently ransacked because there is nothing posted) 

Their recent comments gave me the impetus to post the colossal collage below.

“oooooooooohhh What a show, Cindy! I literally said that all the way through. Ooooh. Gorgeous. We’ve had some sunshine on and off the past few days. I think you need to get out of your basement more. Only 49 days until spring!!” — Jan

“Oh, man! You’re always taking my breath away like that, jeez!”   —Heather 

“Absolutely GORGEOUS! Your photo of the back of the day lily is particularly interesting. Have a wonderful weekend.”  — G G

“The begonia shot is: Beautiful! Astonishing! Unbelievable! Gorgeous! Breathtaking! Damn, that’s a purdy pitcher! Please put me on your e-mail announcement list for every workshop. I won’t be able to attend, but I’ll be there in spirit if I know when and where (I’ll need the schedules so I’ll know when and where to send my spirit).”  — Dad

I replied to Heather that I would soon be posting a rather long “pink collage” that could potentially crash her system. She replied, “bring it on!” So that’s the skinny and here we are.

Okay, the color pink wins by a long shot (so far) in the number of times it shows up in my garden photo archives. I thought orange was prevalent, but I was so, so wrong. I can only imagine how many times purple will show up—I tend to gravitate toward that color in my garden, even though I wouldn’t dare actually wear that color. Actually wearing that color or any shade of burgundy makes my skin itch. But that’s a whole ‘nuther topic. We artists are very sensitive to color, you know. 

Well…now that I have revealed this little-known (and useless) fact about me, I should also tell you that I will not drive a burgundy car—and my anxiety doubles if the interior is burgundy, too. I discovered this about myself about 20+ years ago. So just guess what color car I am inevitably assigned when I rent a car. Yep. Burgundy. Or red (which I don’t have as much an aversion to after driving a sporty little Jeep in California two years ago…red = acceptable…burgundy = don’t go there). It doesn’t matter if every car left on the lot is white. The rental agent will start walking, keys in hand, directly to the only burgundy car in the place. I kid you not. Ask my cousin Bill. (He recently confessed that he now asks for “anything but burgundy” and “no rental plates, please”—the second request came about after I read something about never-do-wells stealing from rental cars because they know they’re driven by tourists with some good loot in tow.) And if someone traveling with me is renting the car, they usually don’t care what color it is, but I always comment, ” betcha it’s going to be burgundy, mark my words.” Then the rental agent will lead us to only burgundy car in a sea of other colors. I kid you not. I’m jinxed. So now when I rent a car, I request “anything but burgundy, please.” This request is met with raised eyebrows more often than not. And I feel compelled to explain, “I’m an artist. I’m sensitive. No burgundy, please.” On one trip to San Diego, Michael went to rent the car while my friend Norma and I waited in the parking lot. It was late in the day and we said if burgundy is the only one available, then we’ll take it (but we won’t be happy about it). I said, “I just know it’s going to be burgundy.” Michael got the keys and met us across the parking lot and was laughing uncontrollably. But wait! Under the vapor lights…it could be…it just might be brown…yeah, it’s brown. We got out of the parking lot and saw the real color…yep, you guessed it. It was burgundy. Once again.

Now I must admit I don’t mind using it in my graphic design pieces. Burgundy has always been a nice corporate-y business color. And I don’t mind if other people wish to wear burgundy or drive a burgundy car. Just don’t ask me to ride with you. Especially if you’re wearing burgundy in your burgundy car with your burgundy seats. I will then offer to pick you up in my passive silver car with its quiet, unassaultive gray interior. I will not apologize for this particular peeve of mine. It is what it is.

Now back to pink. There is an off chance that I actually have something pink in my closet to wear. If not, I should. I do believe all women look good in pink (in particular shades depending on their skin tone and hair color), even if they don’t think so. I speak from experience as a portrait photographer. It’s a very flattering shade on women. And sometimes on men, too. There’s something youthful and joyful about the color pink, especially in the garden. And I love all the pinks in my garden—from pastel pink to just-look-at-me! magenta. 

Ever wonder where the preference of “pink for girls” and “blue for boys” came from? I found this on www.wikipedia.org:

“In Western culture, the practice of assigning pink to an individual gender began in the 1920s. From then until the 1940s, pink was considered appropriate for boys because being related to red it was the more masculine and decided color, while blue was considered appropriate for girls because it was the more delicate and dainty color, or related to the Virgin Mary. Since the 1940s, the societal norm apparently inverted so that pink became appropriate for girls and blue appropriate for boys, a practice that has continued in the 21st century.”

The use of the word for the color pink was first recorded in the late 17th century, describing the flowers of pinks—flowering plants in the genus Dianthus

Just 49 more days until spring, huh? Can it be? Oooh…now it’s just 48!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

broughttoyoubythecolorpink





First blooms of the season…

5 03 2008

My Hellebores are blooming! This one appeared to be lifting its head to the sunlight, raised up by a jumble of leaves and unopened blooms below it (Hellebore blooms nod or face downward). The plants in my front yard garden were given to me by my friend Karen and they have steadily spread into several clumps over the past few years. They begin to bloom right before my yellow crocuses appear. Some of the blooms are a creamy white while the others are pink like this one. I think the pink one is a “Sunshine Strain.” A “strain” is an unflowered seedling of a particular set of parents. In Hellebores, most strains usually resemble the better qualities of their parents (much like humans, I suppose!). There aren’t many subjects in bloom right now, but it sure feels good to photograph something in the garden again.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

hellebore-1.jpg