Garden Photography – A Lot Harder than it Looks

Garden Photography – A Lot Harder than it Looks

Gate entering Japanese Garden

Recently I got together with a wonderful group of women for our second annual garden soiree, organized by sustainable garden designer extraordinaire, Stacie Crooks.  Because Stacie is on the board of the Bloedel Reserve, she arranged for our group to have the place all to ourselves. It was a splendid Northwest day, the evening air soft and the late day’s sun glowing gently through the trees.  We drank, ate, drank and ate, and wandered around the Bloedel reserve, soaking in the panoramic views.  Because Stacie grew up near the reserve and had been a family friend of the Bloedel’s, she shared a lot of stories from her youth, giving us the chance to see the reserve from a completely different perspective.

 But that’s really not why I’m writing now.

I recently downloaded the photos from that lovely July evening, only to find the photos did not match my vivid memories of this enchanted place!  I had just bought a new camera that was highly recommended by Rick Darke, an author and garden photographer who was a speaker last February. But despite the fact my camera was set on the “Idiot Proof” setting I was disappointed in my photos. Garden photography is a lot harder than it looks!

Japanese Garden

And that’s when I thought, darn! I wished I had the chance to sit through David Perry’s seminar last February – “Garden Photo Magic: Mastering a Digital Point-and-Shoot Camera.” What little I did see of David’s seminar was not only brilliantly funny, it was chock full of good advice for a novice like me. You know you have a great speaker when even other garden photography professionals praised him after his seminar.  He received two thumbs up from everyone I talked to.

Thank goodness David sent me a seminar proposal for the 2011 show. I’ll confess to a bit of ulterior motive having him repeat this seminar again – at a time when I might get to watch it. (That will be me inhaling my lunch at the back of the room, madly taking notes.)

David is teaming up with local garden writer Debra Prinzing for a new book – A Fresh Bouquet, focusing on organic and sustainable flower growing, gathering and designing.  So I’m also planning to team them up with two seminars at the 2011 show – first David showing the photography of stunning floral bouquets, followed by Debra giving you the hands-on know-how, teaching you how to make those artful arrangements yourselves. 

If you want to know more about how David and Debra are putting this book together, check out their blog at And do go spend an afternoon touring the Bloedel Reserve. It’s a Northwest treasure that’s not to be missed. Visit their website at – Janet

  • Christina Salwitz
    Posted at 16:57h, 27 August Reply

    I can’t wait to see David Perry’s seminar! I missed it last year as I was working for most of the show. I hope I can get to see it in 2011, if I’m not working the floor again too much. 🙂 Thanks for the post!

  • Janet Endsley
    Posted at 15:35h, 30 August Reply

    I missed it for the same reason Christina – working. But now I can see that I can really use his seminar tips on good photography!

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