At the beginning of the 2nd day of the San Francisco Fling, we had the option of attending a morning class with photographer Saxon Holt...of course, I signed up!
Saxon spent a while talking about his technique to photography...what he looks for and how he approaches a subject. He said he's happy if he gets at least one usable photo a day...which makes me feel more optimistic!
After his presentation, he set us free to explore the gardens...and hopefully, try to put some of his good advice to work! Our "mission" was to get at least one good shot to post on his Facebook page, where he'd leave us feedback.
Of course, grasses always look good...but especially when backlit.
I love how these Salvia blooms just glow.
The papery petals of this Poppy looked like stained glass!
Phlomis are always interesting photo subjects, with their papery bracts and interesting, tiered structure.
I loved these widely-arching and slightly pendulous grass stems.
Love them! (BTW...this is the photo I submitted to Saxon.)
Seriously, when the light is bright anyway...just look for things that look good in that light!
It was already pretty warm, so I moved into a shady spot, where I was greeted by these gently mounding grasses (Festuca, probably).
I really dug the textural contrast here. I wish I knew what that one plant is...I could swear I saw them for sale at Annie's Annuals the previous day.
I'm not sure what this delightful umbel was.
I wandered a little further and was greeted by this dramatic silhouette...I think of spent Dierama blooms.
The sprinklers were going full-force while I ran past this area...I grabbed a quick shot of water-laden stems.
Another quick shot before the sprinklers returned to douse this area.
Just as we headed out the front gates, I happened to notice that the sun was at just the perfect angle to illuminate this Melianthus leaf...setting it ablaze with color! I hope you enjoyed this brief romp through the Botanical Garden. I assure you, I scratched the surface...there is much more to be seen!
How could you ever just pick one photograph? All are so beautiful! The color in the Melianthus leaf, however, really calls to me. Oh, and all the poppies, and... you get the idea. I wish I had better luck with poppies (growing them, I mean.)ReplyDelete
It was hard choosing just one, Heather...but I did choose one of the poppy photos in the end (I went back in this post and noted which one). I don't actually have the best luck with them either :-(Delete
So which one did you submit? There are 3 or 4 that really stand out to me. You've got a great eye anyway -- I bet you could give your own class!ReplyDelete
OOps...I forgot to mention that, didn't I! I just went back and noted which one..it's the first BIG orange Poppy photo :-)Delete
I was just thinking the same thing as Alan (you teaching your own class) perhaps we can twist your arm for the PDX Fling.Delete
And what did Saxon say? They all turned out wonderfully, bright light be damned.Delete
I hope the twisting works, Loree. Would be interested in your class, Scott. The sparkly quality of your photos is such a pleasure to look at.Delete
Very well done. Difficult conditions handled like a pro. What a splendid botanical garden - so many interesting plants and excellent combinations. Putting San Fran and a photography course to the top of my must-do list.ReplyDelete
You would love it, Barbara...I hope you make it there soon :-)Delete
So... Which one did you post to his Facebook page?ReplyDelete
Doh! Sorry, David...I noted in the post just now which one...it's the first BIG orange poppy photo :-)Delete
I think the plant you saw for sale at Annie's, then at SFBG, is a Sideritis (cypria?).ReplyDelete
That's it! Thanks for the ID, Max!!!Delete
It looks to me like you captured several marvelous photos that morning~poppies, grasses and leaves! I so wished I could have been there, it looks like a great garden and sounds like a wonderful class. gailReplyDelete
I wish you'd been there too, Gail...you would have loved it!Delete
Your photography is a delight as always Scott!ReplyDelete
Thanks, guys :-)Delete
OMG the poppy header made my day, then came the gorgeous series of poppy shots and the melianthus. Incredibly gorgeous Scott! I think I've had a religious experience!ReplyDelete
I'm glad I could show you the lux, Peter ;-)Delete
All of them frame-worthy. Gosh, I'd say you got a lot more than one usable photo that day. Jealous and sad that I couldn't make it. (Love the back-lit Poppies--wow!)ReplyDelete
I just love backlit Poppies...they are pure magic!Delete
Beautiful photos Scott..ReplyDelete
Wonderful photos as always! You have the gift...the conditions that morning were not good and yet your photos are just beautiful.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Leslie...they were definitely not ideal conditions...but you know what they say about lemons and lemonade :-)Delete
You always manage to find the right angle to photograph from, even when harshly lit like that sunny day at the botanical garden. That Melianthus shot is magnificent.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Alison...hopefully no one saw the "ungraceful" positions I had to contort myself into to get into those angles ;-)Delete
I'd totally hang that last photo on my wall, Scott. Nice job!ReplyDelete
Now I must have that Sideritis cypria! (thanks Max). Why oh why don't I live in Zone 9?ReplyDelete
To read you write that in bright light you just need to look for something that looks good backlit, or in those lighting conditions, makes perfect sense, and I never would have thought of it that way. I get so caught up in the need to document. Thank you for the wise words.
Isn't it beautiful...I picked it up at Annies...and put it down :-(Delete
Really enjoyed this walk in the gardens. Thanks for sharing. Your pictures are exquisite!ReplyDelete
Thans, Marian...glad you enjoyed our "stroll" through the garden :-)Delete
Beautiful photos! I always have a hard time photographing plants in the sun, backlit is the answer.ReplyDelete
If you ever find out the name of the plant next to the grass, I would like to know it, beautiful!
Absolutely, Laura...it's Sideritis cypria, which is available at Annie's Annuals...but is only hard to zone 9 (DOH)!Delete
Just came across your blog via Noel Kingsbury's. And so glad I did! The trip through the Botanical garden was a real treat.ReplyDelete
What did Saxon Holt have to say about your poppy photo? I'm very curious.
Thanks for visiting Pat, glad you found me! I'll have to go back and find his comment...it's on his facebook page...somewhere!Delete
Gorgeous! I love how you presented this and what perfect pictures. Your header is remarkable!ReplyDelete
Aww...thanks, Linda...glad you enjoyed them :-)Delete
I really liked the image of the spent Dierama blooms, a real winner and of course that last iamge of the Melianthus leaf is magical, I think you should have submitted that one. Interestingly I think you photo your own garden better than here, but I suppose you'd expect that as you know the 'angles' in your own garden. If I were being critical, which I don't really want to be, I'd say that lots of those shots would be amazing if you cropped them! Including the poppy you submitted.ReplyDelete
Oh, totally, Christina...I'm so used to my own garden, I've sort of "figured out" how to maximize it's photo-potential...there's always a learning curve when you're in a new space!Delete
I remember those red poppies - of everything we saw at the SF Botanical Garden those left the strongest impression. Really stunning pictures. You have a knack for working with the light.ReplyDelete
They totally called to me too, Jason...and I probably spent an inordinate amount of time photographing them...I barely made it past them before it was time to leave!Delete
Oh I would love to have been there and you sure handled the sunlight superbly Scott in all your photos :) The poppies were my favourite too.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Rosie...I think you would have loved it there...so much possibility!Delete
Pretty fabulous results in that blazing sun, Scott! My photos from that morning would have said it was impossible...ReplyDelete
I agree with the others above: you could teach so many of us a lot in a photography class. Arm twisting will commence shortly!
Hahahaha...we'll see...my advice is usually...take more photos!Delete
Scott, you did a marvellous job, well seen and executed. I didn't find a single shot of my own from SFBG that I felt warranted any comment from Saxon. Sadly. Still, a rare learning experience. We were very fortunate.ReplyDelete
Very fortunate, indeed, Helen...it was amazing to meet a man whose photos grace SO MANY of the gardening books on my shelves!Delete
stunning shots great protea..just use some contrast on the grasss..loveReplyDelete
Thanks, Sharon...you can never go wrong with grasses ;-)Delete
Wow...beautiful photography! They are all magnificent-just stunning Scott.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Lee...I think they came out pretty well, all things considered :-)Delete
Wonderful images as always. Love, love, love the backlight poppy pictures. You are a master with that camera Scott!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Deanne...you too! As you know oh so well, it's all about understanding light & exposure!Delete
Beautiful image captures... the poppies are my fave. They were born to dance in the backlight. And I'm envious of your chance to speak with Saxon. He's given me great image advice on a couple occasions. I would love to meet him in person.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Carolyn! I agree, getting to meet Saxon was one of the highlights of the Fling for me...it's so great to meet one of your heroes!Delete
WOW the image is truly breath-taking. Greetings from Polish!ReplyDelete
Hi Joanna, thanks for visiting!!!Delete
How I wish I could nail that backlighting thing. It would be interesting to hear what he had to say about the shot you submitted. There were plenty of contenders from what I see here, especially the "water-laden stems"...but I agree: the poppies are The Bomb.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Ricki...I wish I could find his comment now...it seems to have been eaten by the FaceBook monster :-(Delete