Random Sights and Diversions

Photography Media Reviews Commentary


5 Top Tips for Photographing Gardens and Flowers

Every time I go shooting in the gardens, I need to try (increasingly these days) to put a different spin on flower photographs. Or sometimes it’s a different approach in post, but it helps to have an interesting image to start with. It’s all too easy for flower pictures to start looking all the same. Here’s a helpful short article by Tiffany Mueller in LightStalking with Top Five Tips for Photographing Gardens and Flowers.

It’s not uncommon for nature and flower photographers to keep taking the same old picture of different plants and flowers. However, flexing your creative muscles and pulling yourself out of that rut isn’t all that difficult to do. Just remember, flower and garden photography is essentially another form of portraiture; most of the same lighting rules will apply.

The Top Five Tips…

  1. Pack Your Bags …
  2. Life Cycle …
  3. Depth of Field …
  4. Don’t Forget the Little Guy …
  5. Look for Angles …


Blue Iris – New Series

Blue Iris II. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.

Here is another re-edited flower image in the New Series of more expressionistic and stylized images. The iris lends itself to this technique especially well. It seems to radiate light. (Click for larger image.)


New Craft and Vision ebook: Shoot + Share

A new ebook from Craft and Vision – Shoot + Share: Getting Your Photographs Out Into the World, by Stuart Sipahigil.

Craft and Vision: Shoot + Share

Everybody who has a photo blog here – Indeed, everybody who takes pictures – needs this excellent and thoughtful new ebook from David DuChemin’s Craft and Vision. (Click here to visit Craft And Vision.)

At the outset of his book, Stuart Sipahigil offers this statement by Peter Turnley:

Photography at its core is all about sharing, sharing an expression of our feelings, perceptions, and observations about the world around us, for now and for all time.

So very true. But how do we go about sharing our photos? There is a bewildering array of options available to us, and we want to ensure that our images are viewed by the right people in the best possible light. This book is a fantastic resource, full of good ideas and information. Whether you are sharing your pictures with family and friends; have a photo business and are sharing your pictures with clients; or you have a blog or otherwise sharing your pictures on the internet (or want to), this book is for you.  Consider the chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Why Share you Photographs
  • Who Needs to See your Photographs
  • Sharing with Family and Friends
  • Sharing with Other Photographers
  • Sharing with Clients
  • Sharing with the Rest of the World
  • How to Decide Which Photographs to Share
  • How to Get Help with Editing
  • Your Portfolio
  • How and Where to Share your Photographs
  • Social Media
  • Online Photo Sharing Sites
  • Hosted Professional Sites
  • Your Own Website
  • Blogging
  • Prints and More
  • Photo Books
  • Public Display
  • Putting it all Together
  • Beyond Sharing Photographs
  • Photo Walks
  • Classes
  • Conclusion

Shoot + Share.  58 pages. PDF ebook. Highly recommended. Available for Craft and Vision’s iPad app, or in PDF form directly from Craft and Vision, only $5.00US.  Click here to visit Craft And Vision. But for the next 24 hours, until 11:59 PST April 28th, only $4 with the discount code SHARE4. (Or use the discount code SHARE20 and get 20% off any 5 or more PDF ebooks from Craft and Vision.)


San Gabriels, 5000 ft

San Gabriels, 5000 ft. Fuji X100. 23mm. ISO 400. 1/640 sec at f/11. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.

This is shot at about 5000 feet in the San Gabriel Mountains. The picture tells a tale. The slopes ahead (west and north) show the lasting effects of the fire of 2009. (The October 2009  fire burned over 250 square miles.) This picture is shot from a location just below Mount Wilson, to the east (right) in the above, home to the famous and still-important astronomical observatory. In the fire, Mt Wilson was saved, as can be seen by the trees growing on its slopes.


Spring Hillside

Spring Hillside. Fuji X100. 23mm. ISO 400. 1/150 sec at f/16. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.

Another spring snapshot from the Angeles National Forest. The yellow/green of spring is a wonderful color.


Spring Leafing

Spring Leafing. Fuji X100. 23mm. ISO 400. 1/640 sec at f/11. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.

Shot on today’s Easter drive through the San Gabriel Mountains. “Leafing” is a word, means to put out new leaves.



Bearded Iris. Nikon D200. Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8. 105mm (Equiv 157mm). ISO 200. 1/160 sec at f/5.6. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.


Yellow Orchid 2

Cymbidium Orchid. Nikon D200. AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8 ED-IF. 31mm (41mm equiv). ISO 400. 1/250 sec at f/9. Copyright ©Joanne Mason 2012.

Here is another image of the yellow Cymbidium orchid. Dreamy, ethereal, beautiful.

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