Night Lights 2 and the W4W Word Too

A Different View with a 18mm to 135mm Lens

Looking up to the Palm Dome.

Take a tour of the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, Night Lights in the Gardens.  It is beautiful display of lighted, topical plants that delights the garden visitors. See the post Night Lights in the Garden for images taken with a macro lens, all with a much tighter view of the gardens and plants.

Tripods were not allowed due to the high number of visitors each night, so some images are a bit blurred. Plus, the lights were moving, and this made getting clearly focused photographs much more difficult. In the previous post, I used that motion to my benefit to get some very interesting abstract compositions.

If you want to get a handle on photographing motion, here is a great site you can use to calculate and understand shutter speed. The calculator is a help when shooting objects in fast motion. It gives you an idea what shutter speed is good for certain situations. But, also remember, ISO and f-stop will play in as well.

The South Park property was created from 156 acres of farmland. The conservatory consists of three domes with the building constructed of glass, wood and steel. It’s design was based on Kew Gardens Palm House and the Crystal Palace.

The Special Events House that is used for lectures, talks, parties, and large groups.

The building was designed by Lord & Burnham, Co. and cost $130,000 to build from 1897 to 1899. It is one of only two tri-domed large Victorian conservatories in the US. Less than a dozen large Victorian conservatories remain in the US today.

Another look at the dome.

A trolley car ride took thousands of visitors to the 1901 Pan-Am Exhibition to see the South Park’s conservatory and botanical gardens. There are plant descendants from those on exhibition during this time. Families took begonias home after the expo and kept them alive, taking cuttings through the years. Some were donated back to the Botanical Gardens and remain there alive and well today.

The Firefly room. Colored lights danced all around.

This room was truly magical. Dizzying colored lights bounced off all the surfaces.

A leaf macro.

Today I received a survey to rate the exhibit, and I gave them very high marks. My only suggestion was to add more lights and highlight some of the individual plants a bit more. So many architectural plants could have been illuminated, like they did in the blue bonsai below.

A fountain in the Botanical Gardens glowed in rotating color.

Through the palms.

Some of the most interesting displays were those with layered lighting.

A bloom shines in the darkness.

A hand and a coin.

The Tropical House  greenhouse filled with color.

The bonsai in blue.

A Barrel Cactus with a center filled with fiery light.

Some of the plants in the Cactus room were very well-lit.

A chess set in the gardens.

The lighting in this space was a bit dimmer than I would have preferred as a visitor, not necessarily as a photographer. There is a very interesting image of the sculpture to the left in my previous post.

The Fern House and Tropical Rain Forest waterfall.

Again, the Special Events House is ready for the Hearts in the Garden Benefit.

Here are some very quick images I took with my iPhone at the event I attended last night on Valentine’s Day. Hearts in the Garden was a fundraiser to help promote the National Garden Festival to be held in Buffalo in 2012. The event last night was attended by over 200 garden enthusiasts and many members associated with the summer long Festival. The event coordinators put on a first class gathering and many thanks go out to these hard-working individuals. It was a most enjoyable evening spent in the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical gardens, complete with food and drink.

Lighted Heart in the Garden                     Painting on Glass Over a Light Box

Cupid                Painting on Glass Over a Light Box

W4W on February 22 will be the word time. Now time to picture TIME.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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16 Responses to Night Lights 2 and the W4W Word Too

  1. Brian Comeau says:

    Fantastic colors!!! I love the angles you chose too.

  2. As you say, everything appears magical….so beautiful. It is refreshing to see things from a different angle or in different light. I think adding more lights for the plants is good idea…adds so much more.

  3. andrea says:

    It seems like you are in another world in these photos, and Erie County now becomes Eerie for me! It’s nice to pretend like an alien or a superhuman or act like a vampire in these settings! LOL.

  4. What an enchanting evening…the lights and plants really create a lovely atmosphere. Fascinating what the botanical gardens come up with to attract visitors during the colder winter seasons. I was challenged on a recent night visit to my local botanical gardens photographing with virtually no light nor tripod too. Your shots turned out really well!

  5. amazing pictures! I so want to visit this Botanical Garden 🙂

  6. A great W4W since I am out of time…I will be late with my entry but will have it to link in by Monday the 27th. These images are amazing in their clarity and color and you know I love color…what a fab event Donna and you did an outstanding job capturing it for us…

  7. Donna,
    Spectacular photos! That was a great party, too. I

  8. HolleyGarden says:

    I love the lights in the Special Events house, but the Firefly room is my favorite! What a dazzling display!

  9. Wow…the lights you have captured are quite astonishing. Lovely!

  10. Jess says:

    I sort of love the firefly room. I wanted to repeat what I wrote to you on my blog just in case you don’t subscribe to comments: the statcounter ‘time’ stat is a junk stat, because it can only tell the length of a visit to your site if the visitor goes to another page on your site. So if someone goes to your homepage and reads it, then goes to, you are going to get a one second visit! So do not fear, most people who are regular readers who stop by your blog do so to read it! Promise 🙂

  11. You captured some magical images in really difficult conditions Donna, I particularly like the shots of the dome, and the leaf macro.

  12. Goodness, what a dizzying array of color! I love those glass ceilings though, and the paintings over the light boxes, they almost look like stained glass. The W4W is interesting too…if only I could figure out how to get more of it! Time is a little short around here at the moment 😉

  13. b-a-g says:

    “TIME” is a difficult one. I’ll be interested to see your photographic interpretation of it.

  14. debsgarden says:

    The Firefly Room made me smile. How delightful! I think I would feel like a child again, standing in that room.

  15. Les says:

    Blurry or not, the photos are very cool.

  16. Doug Sitler says:

    Hello! It’s Doug from NIGHT LIGHTS. Great pics and write up! The show ended Saturday night and we’re already making plans for improving next year’s edition of NIGHT LIGHTS. Thanks again.

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