A rose is a rose is a rose
Summer is here and flowers are bursting into bloom. There they are right outside the door and so pretty. But just because they are so marvelous doesn't mean that you need to photograph them. It seems that every flower that has ever bloomed has had its picture taken. When the supply out numbers the demand...well you know what that means in the eyes of reviewers. Before you even think about taking another photo of a flower, ask yourself if the world really needs it. But if you must, how can you make your images of flowers and gardens sail past the jaded eyes of the reviewers?
Is the flower of exception beauty that could enhance a spa or inspirational website? Would an image of this flower have additional secondary use such as flowers that are emblematic of a region. The plumeria, known as the lei flower, is deeply associated with Hawaii and other tropical areas of the Pacific and are used in travel brochures. Don't neglect cut flowers. A dozen cut roses have universal appeal and flower arrangements within stylish interiors can make stunning shots.
It's a challenge to create memorable images of flowers. But it can be even more difficult to get great shots of gardens. Gardening now ranks as the number one hobby in the United States and its popularity is universal throughout most of the world. Home gardens that are artfully designed make great shots especially if the gardener himself is in the image. Formal sites like hedge maze gardens are wonderful locations for models and conceptualize the themes of complexity and problem solving. Advice from the experts: be certain to get at least a spot of color into a garden vista. Otherwise you might end up with a simple sea of green.
Curtice Taylor, a well-known garden photographer, said when asked his secret to success in the garden, "Long lunches. In fact you could also add an afternoon nap because if the sun is out, you do not shoot from 9AM to 5PM". I will add this is the reason that some fail to get the best location shots on any subject. They are either still in bed during the best morning light or in the bar for cocktail hour when the late afternoon light is magic.
•To view extraordinary flower paintings see the book, One Hundred Flowers by Georgia O'Keefe (1995).
•Here is an excerpt from a book about garden photography that is a bit heavy on lens recommendations but you might find it useful: http://www.timberpress.com/books/excerpt.cfm/9780881926804
•And the mother of all film companies chimes in with this: http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-locale=en_US&pq-path=206 PS To find out where the title of this piece comes from look for clues in the Diary of Alice B. Toklas.