“To write a great novel, you need a really expensive pen, right?”
I’ll always remember David Perry saying this as he began his talk to a group of garden writers who were keen to become better photographers.
I noted how well he grabbed our attention from the start by expressing his ideas in a way we could immediately relate to. Writers and bloggers know that opening proposition isn’t true – if only! – so why would so many of us imagine an expensive camera will magically transform us into master photographers? Continue reading “Tips for photographing roses 9: it’s not all about your camera”
If you drive past what looks at first glance appears to be a wonderful or very unusual shot, do yourself a favour – turn round, go straight back and capture it. Don’t think you’ll feel more inclined to stop on your journey home.
I can rarely resist the opportunity to take pictures of roses, especially if they are at the peak of flower, but I’ll always regret not turning back to photograph a dishevelled cottage, set just a little way back from the road on a busy street somewhere in the South of England. The yard was full of hollyhocks in flower – I’ve never seen so many in one garden. Continue reading “Tips for photographing roses 8: always go straight back”
Take advantage of the best light by taking pictures early or late in the day. I’ve heard garden photographers rave about the diffused light of misty mornings, but they’ll also tell you that the perfect light is surprisingly rare. Continue reading “Tips for photographing roses 7: the golden hour”
I’m sorry to have to say this, especially as we think of roses as beautiful flowers, but I believe that some varieties are just more photogenic than others. We know that it’s true of people: why would roses be any different?
Four times out of five if I pick a nice, open bloom of certain English Roses – I’m thinking of ‘Crown Princess Margareta’, ‘Wildeve’, ‘Constance Spry’, ‘Grace’ or ‘A Shropshire Lad’ – I’ll be able to get a shot I like, quite quickly, from a variety of angles. The individual roses don’t even need to be perfectly formed: a few stray petals just seem to add to the grace of the flower. Continue reading “Tips for photographing roses 6: not all roses are equal”
It’s a simple but effective tip, but from time to time, turn your camera round. Looking through Flickr, I’m always surprised that so many amateur flower photographers take virtually all their pictures as landscapes. I think they’re missing a trick: individual flowers and clusters of roses are often better suited to a portrait format.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of holding your camera a particular way round: it might be so instinctive that you may not even notice it.
Continue reading “Tips for photographing roses 5: experiment with the format”
Rose blooms are variable. When taking pictures, take the time to search out the flower you like most, or try photographing several. If you would have expected all the roses on a single plant to be exactly the same, you’re in for a surprise. Continue reading “Tips for photographing roses 4: choose your subject wisely”