I think so anyway…
Saxon Holt of Gardening Gone Wild and Mental Seeds is going to be putting out an e-book very soon and I commented to his latest post, Get Inside the Garden, that I would most certainly purchase his e-book. He has planned a multi-book format with six lessons in each on garden photography. Sound interesting?
He is creating a new website, The PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop. It has a section for learning which will be subscription only. The website is in the works currently and should be coming soon.
I have been following him at GGW for years and Saxon has a great way of teaching his craft. I have a few e-books by professional photographers, some of whom photograph gardens, flowers, and landscapes besides their specialty.
The e-books lacked something in garden photography. Since I design landscapes, I noticed something very important that was missing. Not the beautiful photography, but the understanding of the gardens being photographed.
If a photographer is good at a particular subject, I think they must really know that subject. This is where Saxon is heads above the others. He is both a photographer and a gardener.
He said, ““Get inside the garden”, which means more than physically – mentally too – if not “immersion” in his words.
Understanding how a design works helps in photographing it. He mentioned this in his recent post. Conversely, photographing a garden can aid in understanding the design intent and design elements used in creating it.
Well designed gardens work ultimately when they are used. In the images throughout this post, people are engaged in the gardens. Not just casually, but in a deeper way.
I designed buildings for a long time. That should make me good at photographing them, right? Not necessarily, because it requires practice.
Even professional photographers are sometimes only adequate at photographing large commercial buildings. We had one here that was spectacular. I worked with him on projects, but since he took the photos, I never really spent my time learning from him.
With wildlife and nature, I have become a sponge, taking online courses and learning from some well-known individuals.
With wildlife, the more you know, the better you anticipate. Learning all you can on wildlife, practicing and learning your camera for this type of photography will help in getting good photos. Be ready to get into the trenches though.
I am of the belief you cannot do both photography and anything you choose to photograph (gardens included) well without the passion for both. The art, the “eye’, well that comes in time. The passion is something you genuinely have to feel with your very being.
Unfortunately, my images at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens were taken during bright daylight hours, but in your own garden, you can select the time of the day.
I am sure when Saxon’s e-books get released, they will be so comprehensive, easily understandable, well illustrated, and just so hard to put down. I am doubly certain that The PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop website will be packed full of useful information and be so much fun.
I am excited to see where all this goes.
Join me in my series on straight forward gardening advice, coming up. The Best Gardening Advice is not always what you think.