Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fling 2013 - San Francisco Botanical Garden

SanFran Botanical Garden copy
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!

SFBG sason intro
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!

SFBG saxon under treeSFBG trees
Saxon took us to several stations, explaining how he would go about looking for a focal point and a framing device to create a compelling image.

SFBG sunny resio walkers
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.

SFBG buttons 2SFBG blue salvia
None of the plant collections called out to me, so I decided to just wander around for a while. Since it was super bright and sunny, I looked for plants that looked good backlit.

SFBG grass wands
Of course, grasses always look good...but especially when backlit.

SFBG salvia seedheads 2SFBG salvia seedheads
Plants with little hairs covering their stems are also pretty photogenic.

SFBG salvia blooms
I love how these Salvia blooms just glow.

SFBG purple poppy
The papery petals of this Poppy looked like stained glass!

WEbSFBG linaria
I wandered a little further, looking for little details, like this spiderweb.

SFBG phlomis
Phlomis are always interesting photo subjects, with their papery bracts and interesting, tiered structure.

SFBG arching grass
I loved these widely-arching and slightly pendulous grass stems.

SFBG grassesSFBG poppies 6
Another favorite grass for backlighting, Deschampsia in the foreground on the left. Of course, Poppies provide and endless array of interest.

sunny poppy 1
Love them! (BTW...this is the photo I submitted to Saxon.)

SFBG poppies 4SFBG poppies 5
I'm so totally smitten by the hairs that cover Poppy stems and buds...they look amazing and surreal...the hairs on this poppy even had a faint red tinge to them

SFBG poppies 3
Seriously, when the light is bright anyway...just look for things that look good in that light!

SFBG grasses 2
It was already pretty warm, so I moved into a shady spot, where I was greeted by these gently mounding grasses (Festuca, probably).

SFBG medit plants1
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.

SFBG umbel
I'm not sure what this delightful umbel was.

SFBG dierama
I wandered a little further and was greeted by this dramatic silhouette...I think of spent Dierama blooms.

SFBG water drops
The sprinklers were going full-force while I ran past this area...I grabbed a quick shot of water-laden stems.

SFBG protea
Another quick shot before the sprinklers returned to douse this area.

SFBG Pink SalviaSFBG bird
Heading back to the entrance where our group was gathering again, I noticed this lovely Salvia...soft pink, again, covered with tiny little light-catching hairs...and a persistent bird, intent on taking a bath!

Melianthus
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!

61 comments:

  1. 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.)

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    1. 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 :-(

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  2. 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!

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    1. 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 :-)

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    2. I was just thinking the same thing as Alan (you teaching your own class) perhaps we can twist your arm for the PDX Fling.

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    3. And what did Saxon say? They all turned out wonderfully, bright light be damned.

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    4. 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.

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  3. 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.

    B.

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    1. You would love it, Barbara...I hope you make it there soon :-)

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  4. So... Which one did you post to his Facebook page?

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    1. Doh! Sorry, David...I noted in the post just now which one...it's the first BIG orange poppy photo :-)

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  5. I think the plant you saw for sale at Annie's, then at SFBG, is a Sideritis (cypria?).
    Max P.

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  6. 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. gail

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    1. I wish you'd been there too, Gail...you would have loved it!

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  7. Your photography is a delight as always Scott!

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  8. 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!

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    1. I'm glad I could show you the lux, Peter ;-)

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  9. 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!)

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    1. I just love backlit Poppies...they are pure magic!

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  10. Wonderful photos as always! You have the gift...the conditions that morning were not good and yet your photos are just beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Leslie...they were definitely not ideal conditions...but you know what they say about lemons and lemonade :-)

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  11. 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.

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    1. Thanks, Alison...hopefully no one saw the "ungraceful" positions I had to contort myself into to get into those angles ;-)

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  12. I'd totally hang that last photo on my wall, Scott. Nice job!

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  13. Now I must have that Sideritis cypria! (thanks Max). Why oh why don't I live in Zone 9?

    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.

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    1. Isn't it beautiful...I picked it up at Annies...and put it down :-(

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  14. Really enjoyed this walk in the gardens. Thanks for sharing. Your pictures are exquisite!
    Marian

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    1. Thans, Marian...glad you enjoyed our "stroll" through the garden :-)

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  15. Beautiful photos! I always have a hard time photographing plants in the sun, backlit is the answer.

    If you ever find out the name of the plant next to the grass, I would like to know it, beautiful!

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    1. Absolutely, Laura...it's Sideritis cypria, which is available at Annie's Annuals...but is only hard to zone 9 (DOH)!

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  16. Just came across your blog via Noel Kingsbury's. And so glad I did! The trip through the Botanical garden was a real treat.

    What did Saxon Holt have to say about your poppy photo? I'm very curious.

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    1. 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!

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  17. Gorgeous! I love how you presented this and what perfect pictures. Your header is remarkable!

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    1. Aww...thanks, Linda...glad you enjoyed them :-)

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  18. 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.

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    1. 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!

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  19. 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.

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    1. 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!

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  20. 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.

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    1. Thanks, Rosie...I think you would have loved it there...so much possibility!

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  21. Pretty fabulous results in that blazing sun, Scott! My photos from that morning would have said it was impossible...

    I agree with the others above: you could teach so many of us a lot in a photography class. Arm twisting will commence shortly!

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    1. Hahahaha...we'll see...my advice is usually...take more photos!

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  22. 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.

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    1. Very fortunate, indeed, Helen...it was amazing to meet a man whose photos grace SO MANY of the gardening books on my shelves!

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  23. stunning shots great protea..just use some contrast on the grasss..love

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    1. Thanks, Sharon...you can never go wrong with grasses ;-)

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  24. Wow...beautiful photography! They are all magnificent-just stunning Scott.

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    1. Thanks, Lee...I think they came out pretty well, all things considered :-)

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  25. Wonderful images as always. Love, love, love the backlight poppy pictures. You are a master with that camera Scott!

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    1. Thanks, Deanne...you too! As you know oh so well, it's all about understanding light & exposure!

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  26. 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.

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    1. 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!

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  27. WOW the image is truly breath-taking. Greetings from Polish!

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  28. 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.

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    1. Thanks, Ricki...I wish I could find his comment now...it seems to have been eaten by the FaceBook monster :-(

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