Isn't it wonderful when gardeners share the worlds they create and we can explore their paradise? What a gift!
A garden is an iteration of all that is good and beautiful (or tortured...unresolved!) in the soul of its creator: a very special thing. When you come into those places I think you're welcomed into the landscape of another human soul, and those places are incredible. Some are strictly regimented, some are wild, some bounteous, some spare, some a fiesta of colour, some subtle or subdued, some full of fun and folly, some stern... gardens are people in all their varied forms.
While I wish to expand my focus and capture more of those gardens we create, when I find myself with a chance to practice photography, I find myself focused on the floral vignettes. On the portraits of flowers and features more than their habitat. I still have so much to learn at this scale! Maybe, rather than the forest, I'll always find myself photographing the trees... even when it is the forest I wish to convey! Is the soul of a garden evident in each of its blooms? I wonder.
These pictures were all taken in a lovely garden near Hobart. One of those lovingly created places that feels special. As always, any comments are welcome. Let me know how you find these images - what works, what doesn't. I hope you enjoy!
So, I have been using Irfanview to edit digital pics and I'm struggling with how much of this editing business is really necessary or even an improvement to images. I'm not technically proficient and wouldn't really know how to begin with custom adjustments... so I'm using auto this'n'that. I'm sure I mentioned it before, but I'm still unresolved as to whether hitting "auto-adjust colors" is a good idea. Help!
Here are some before and after images. They are all resized/resampled to reduce file size, but other than that the only difference is the application of auto-adjust colours. Which is better?
I have a hard time liking the adjusted images - why?
Even though I think the auto-adjusted images are often (not always!) closer to the colours I was seeing with my eye, I also feel as though they are too garish. Are they, in fact? Or is this feeling a product of seeing the raw image first and having that imprinted as the 'real' image. If no one saw the raw image, would they find the adjusted one garish? Are we all just so used to seeing digital images that are made to 'pop' that we expect images viewed on screen to be super-real?
Or maybe it's a sensory perception thing - a kind of aversion to things that are 'too bright' for the individual? Are they too bright for anyone else? And yet, bright does not automatically equate with harsh. Maybe the quality shift in question is soft to harsh. Because bright alone is not a problem... in fact I would love to capture bright, luminous, true colour. How does one do that? Is it something captured in the raw image or a product of sophisticated editing?
Oops - that's a tangent! So, to pop or not to pop? Or opt for soft pop? woah... that was pop corn. If you're still reading, sorry! If you can tell me your taste in pic-pop, a gracious thank you.
You know what it's like. You're just doing your shopping. Really. Just groceries. Maybe loo roll. Impulse chocolate. That's all.... But there they are. Those bright, beguiling, smiling eyes.
Daisies. Osteospermum. Each year they flock to supermarkets to prey upon weakened shoppers - gardeners. Gardeners going about their weekly chores in the mundane world, deprived of the supportive colour, leaf forms and scents of their home; flooded with a sea of disorienting marketing and bipbips.
"Hey there!" They call. "We'll save you! Grab us! Wheel us round in your trolly. Look at us! Talk to us! Take us home! C'mon... you know what'll happen if you don't... pssstttt... they don't water us here" :'(
And, well... before long you have a collection. Because you can never have too much sunshine in life. And daisies are awesome.
While I'm in a Camellia frame of mind, I want to share something special. My first (and thus far only!) seed-grown Camellia! I'm certainly biased, but I find it beautiful:
From the rosebud promise, to the simple, single row of blush and cream petals, the fresh golden stamens, the deep green, reticulated foliage... I just love it. It's my kind of camellia. But I didn't plan it, I just nurtured a gift.
Nature and Aunty Pat must take the credit. Around 40 years ago, Pat sowed seed of a reticulata camellia from a friend's garden. She planted a seedling out in the farmhouse garden, and before too long it bloomed. And grew. And grew. It's still there; 2 storeys tall with a rich mid pink semi-double paeony-style bloom. It sets seed every year, seedlings sprout and several of these have grown to flowering, forming a tight leafy flock around their mother. Five or six years ago, all excited at having a new garden to plant, I dug up 6-7 little ankle-biter sized babies and transplanted them. Only one survived, and this is she. These are her first-ever blooms: reticulata seedling of a reticulata seedling. Who knows though, maybe dad was a sasanqua! hehe.
I feel so happy to have such a legacy from an Aunt who inspired me in horticulture, but passed on 30 years ago. Makes me appreciate that each time you plant a seed, you're travelling in time beyond your years - who will you meet? Who's waiting for you? Get out there and plant (another) seed! ;-)
So, what does everyone think? Is it appealing? Does it have merit? As I said... I'm biased, so I'd like to hear other thoughts.
Who'd like to see a few Camellia pics? The Spring shows have brought out some sweet blooms.
I planted Camellia 'Waterlily' when I was a child, and it has now become a small tree. On the rare times I visit, I can stand beneath it. If I were there right now, I could no doubt stand in a carpet of fallen pink petals... while I can't this year I think, in all probability, cattle are enjoying the scene. Alas, sweet Waterlily, you are moosh beneath our hooves.
So, while I once found the full and formal blooms so irresistible , I discovered that the elements and critters of nature never leave a camellia unblemished for long. Perfect camellias are like moments in time! Looking beyond, to further camellia horizons, one discovers a range that depend on more than pristine symmetry for their charm... camellias that can hold their looks a little longer. Camellias with mops like peony and gorgeous leaves (reticulatas) year round, or amenable to hedging with irascible little blots of colour (sasanquas)... or... perfect in that timeless oriental sensibility: delicious, simple, sunbursts of stamens that fill a cup of single petals and just enrapture a soul. One could become drunk enjoying the Higos. I still admit that for foliage, the reticulata are just divine, and their blooms are such a gorgeous shambles of colour, I love them! But for a single, stunning bloom, the higo is amazing. And it doesn't rely on just a perfect arrangement of bruise-less petals - it's the crown of stamens that hold the eye!
Ahhhh, anyway, there was such a sweet little higo at the show. This is 'Ohkan':
I'm in love. Enjoy :)