Photography forum: Could we have a garden photography forum

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Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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CDsSister
Sep 18, 2014 2:56 PM CST
I know there are many threads throughout ATP which have this theme buried in them but it would be nice to have a forum for those who are new to the techniques used to photograph a garden or a plant.

There are so many wonder photos on the site and sooner or later everyone is joining in but these skills are learned and it would be nice to get help from the experts.

I know I could be a much better photographer if I had help. It would also help reduce my frustration when a picture is rejected to know I could get that help.

Thanks for considering it.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Sep 18, 2014 3:50 PM CST
You might just try to start a thread (such as you just did) asking for help and see who chimes in. Not sure if an entire forum would be that populated, although I could be wrong.

Here's my thoughts: use the flower or portrait setting on your camera (which will give a shorter depth of field, blurring the background), shoot in early morning light (less harsh) preferably on an overcast day (less shadows), take several photos of the same plant at different angles and distances, then pick your best one to submit to the database and delete the rest. In addition to a portrait of the bloom, also step back and snap the entire plant so we can see how it looks in situ.

Edited to add: pay attention to the background and keep it as clean as possible - remove dead sticks and such, focus on the part of the plant with the least amount of damage, if you're lucky, try to catch a pollinator in your shot.

Most important: have fun with it.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
[Last edited by Bonehead - Sep 18, 2014 3:52 PM (+)]
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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
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Paul2032
Sep 18, 2014 4:14 PM CST
I agree with what Deb said and may repeat some of what she suggested. I take pictures in the morning, overcast days, and in the evening. Once in a while I see a flower that is back lit and shoot it also. I look for healthy fresh plant material which is as pristine as possible. I , like Deb, always take several shots. Thank goodness we aren't depending on film any longer. There is a trite phrase "if you want to catch a fish go where the fish are". The same holds true IMHO for plant photos. Be on the outlook. Try to 'frame' your subject. This could be a fun thread. Try something a little different. Be creative.


Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 18, 2014 4:17 PM CST
I like the idea of having a place that would be easy to find help with taking garden/plant photos. It really is especially frustrating when trying to get sharp, up close shots.
I know understanding f-stops and such would be helpful, but I don't even know how to do that.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 18, 2014 4:20 PM CST
Paul you post amazing photos of up close subjects and entire gardens. Do you ever set your camera for depth of field and such?

I wonder if this thread could maybe go to the Tool Forum? After all we are using our cameras as a garden tool. Green Grin!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 18, 2014 4:21 PM CST
I wish someone at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds would conduct a seminar! Whoever they have on the camera REALLY knows how!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Sep 18, 2014 4:22 PM CST
I'm inclined to agree with Deb, not sure a whole forum for garden photography would see that much traffic. But it would be nice to be able to gather up all the miscellaneous tips on photography and sort of put them in one basket somewhere.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 18, 2014 4:39 PM CST
This isn't even a half-baked idea yet ...
maybe not even 1/4-baked ...
but ...

You're kind of talking about a resource like a collection of articles and list of knowledgeable people who like to share knowledge, and also a go-to place for asking questions.

Part of the first could be accomplished by collecting links to posts or threads and Articles that talk about how-to take garden photos. If all photo-related links were in one easy-to-find place (like a thread or Sticky Thread in the Tools Forum), it would be handy. Such a list of how-to links might also be a good place for a bunch of links to particularly photogenic threads or plants.

(I wish that the Sticky Treads in a forum could be accessed from the sidebar instead of always using up the top real estate of the Thread List. After all, the Reference Section of a library is usually farther from the front door than the Bestsellers Section.) Like a FAQ section.

Articles seem like good holding places to gather together more discussions about specific photographic issues (once there's an easy way to search for such articles. Like a Keyword Index, or even just a sticky thread that was limited to links to photography how-to posts and Articles.

The Ask A Question Forum might be the existing 'go-to-place' for asking specific questions.

One side benefit to collecting a list of photo-related links is that it would attract more discussion, like a how-to-photo-magnet. Another benefit is that it might become so active that a need for a dedicated forum would become obvious (or not).

I'm just sayin', not volunteerin'.

[Last edited by RickCorey - Sep 18, 2014 4:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 18, 2014 4:50 PM CST
I was wondering if there was a Garden Photograpy Forum if there could be threads devoted to different topics.
Using a tripod
Setting f-stops/depth of field
Lighting
Close up/macro
Prep before taking photo
There are so many topics pertaining to photographing plants that it might be difficult to find the information you need if it is all in one thread.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 18, 2014 4:52 PM CST
We cross posted Rick.
I really like the idea of there being a forum with threads for different topics/questions.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Sep 18, 2014 4:54 PM CST
I agree it would be great to gather all the photo tips spread around through the different threads but how would you do that? Other than putting into your personal starred pages, which I do in the forums I visit, I am not sure how that could be public for everyone to see?

Sorry cross posted with Lynn.
[Last edited by CDsSister - Sep 18, 2014 4:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Sep 18, 2014 4:58 PM CST

Here is a great article which could also be referenced.
http://garden.org/ideas/view/rocklady/1775/Making-a-Backdrop...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Sep 18, 2014 4:59 PM CST
I'm wondering if the Garden Photos forum would be a good gathering place for photo tips and topics:

http://garden.org/forums/view/gardenphotos/
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 18, 2014 5:00 PM CST
I had asked a while ago about having such a forum and the idea was shot down rather quickly. Seems we have forums for all types of things, not just plants, but on all forums photography is an important part. We only have two forms of communication here - words and photos.

I finally went off-site to a photography forum where I can ask a thousand questions and receive tons of helpful answers. Some of the photographers on that site are waaaaay out of my league price-wise, but the answers can be geared down to my price range.

For now what I do on ATP it send a Tree-mail to a member who has added a particularly good photo and ask what type of camera they are using.
You might be surprised to know that not every good photographer is willing to share that information. Shrug! Just sayin'.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 18, 2014 5:07 PM CST
I really do think a Plant/garden photography forum would be a most useful tool to many of us. Most of us have so much to learn in this area. And it would be more efficient to have all that information in one place, like we do for Plant ID and Tools and stuff. I know right were to go when I have a question in those areas.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Sep 18, 2014 5:08 PM CST

Sharon, I always think of that forum as the place to post your full garden photos not to ask questions about how to go about it best.
I did find a few more articles which are helpful

In Photography, Timing Is Important
By Dutchlady1, July 14, 2012
If you want to take pictures of your flowers, do it just before sunset to get the color just right. In bright sun the color bleaches out.

Photography Tip: Showing Scale
By robertduval14, May 25, 2014
When small items such as seeds are being photographed, it's fairly common to place a common item near them to give a sense of their size.
(Full article • 3 comments)

Macro Hack for Photographing Your Blooms
By greene, October 26, 2013
Use a hand lens or jeweler's loupe to obtain extreme close-ups.

Photograph on a Cloudy Day
By postmandug, September 17, 2011
When photographing your garden or plants, do it on a cloudy day. The light is more even and diffused.

I just searched photograph in the articles area.

Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Sep 18, 2014 5:17 PM CST
Maybe so but if you added a sticky to that page and listed links to the articles, they could be all together. Separate threads in that forum could be for discussion of specific topics too.

Just an idea if an entire new forum isn't an option.
Visit my cubit Blue Gardens
Check out my Blog
Read my Articles and Ideas
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Sep 18, 2014 5:17 PM CST
I got to wondering if there might be a way to make a photography tip database, where people could suggest tips mentioned in threads or articles related to photography. Probably way too much work, tho.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 18, 2014 5:17 PM CST
As a relative newbie here, I strongly vote for a forum on plant photography. I could use a lot of help! While those of you who have been here for awhile probably don't need them, you can send us tips (as in fact you have just been doing -- right here, where Marilyn asked for them). And those of us who need those tips will know where to go to find them, rather than starting out on a major archaeological dig to find the hints on scrolls buried here and there, who knows where...

I'm sorry the idea was shot down earlier -- I am hoping that was simply because its time had not yet come. I tip my hat to you.

Thank You!
and dare I say, Go with God.
Mother Raphaela
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 18, 2014 5:40 PM CST
I see that a Photo Forum has been set up -- or perhaps has been here all along. Still, while this means we have lots of threads where people can post their photos, there isn't one place specifically for asking questions about how to take those photos. Confused CDsSister asked for that here and all at once people jumped all over her while at the same time giving some of their hints -- this makes somewhat uncomfortable reading.

And the way many of the responses read, I thought starting a new forum was a huge undertaking -- whereas Dave started one for ferns practically instantly, no questions asked....

Marilyn and Dave, perhaps this means we just start a Garden Photography thread in the photo forum? It's not the same thing, although obviously it is related... MR

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