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Keyword: ‘hydrangea’

IN THE FIELD: Hydrangea

July 24, 2013 26 comments


The Hydrangeas have been blooming in the area for a few weeks and have been putting on a grand show. It appears they have received just the right amount of rainfall and sunshine.

The best part photographing this shrub is its locale as I didn’t have to travel very far. It is growing right outside our kitchen window. It has been a pleasure to watch the flowers mature and change from off-white to pale pink, and then to blue and lavender.

The difficult part of photographing this shrub was trying to choose which group of blossoms to focus on.

f 8


ISO 200

cloudy WB

IN THE FIELD: One Last Hurrah

November 5, 2012 28 comments

Back in August I wrote a post about one of our Limelight Hydrangea bushes that was struggling to stay alive during the summer heat wave. After some nurturing from us and much needed rain, it bounced back with full vim and vigor.

When these flowers first open in late spring, the flower petals are pale green. Later in the summer, they change to a creamy white. And in the autumn season, the flowers turn a vivid pinkish tone, then fade to a light tan as the colder weather approaches. These are wonderful shrubs for the landscape and offer four season appeal. They do grow quickly but are easily managed, by trimming them back in the spring.

The flower heads are quite resilient to heavy weather and most of them will remain on the bushes throughout the winter. Rather than trim off the flower heads after they dry, we like leave them on the bush for some winter visual interest.

I took this photo late in the morning a few weeks ago. I used a tripod, electronic cable release, and the camera settings were f5.6 @ 1/125th.

IN THE FIELD: Monday Afternoon Delights

August 15, 2012 20 comments

In my previous post, I mentioned how happy we are that the Limelight Hydrangea we have been monitoring throughout this hot summer, is doing much better since the recent rains.

This post is a follow up. The photo I used in the previous post was taken from the front lawn looking towards the road, in the early morning. The photos in today’s post are the view taken from the street side looking towards the lawn, one shot in the early morning and one mid-afternoon. Same shrub, different view and time of day.

I wanted to illustrate how scouting a location at various times of the day can make a difference in your photographs. The difference can be not only with subject matter or compositions, but the light, or lack of light.

In the first photo, the trees in the background are lit by the early morning sun and the Hydrangea bush is in light shade. The white blooms got lost in the bright background.

First photo  was shot at 8:35am, f5 @1/60th, ISO 200.

The second photo was taken six hours later. Now the background trees are in the shade and the Hydrangea bush is in dappled sun. The bright blooms show up better against the subdued surroundings.

Second photo  was shot 2:30pm, f4.5 @1/640th, ISO 200.

Technically, neither photo is right or wrong. In my opinion, the second photo is more pleasing to my eye. There is more contrast between the blooms and the background, and the dappled light on the bush adds interest.

To me, part of the art of photography is a waiting game. It’s not always possible, but when you can wait for better light, it can be rewarding.


IN THE FIELD: Monday Morning Delights

August 13, 2012 20 comments

This past week, substantial storms blew through the area at dusk and late at night. We finally got much needed rain. Plants and trees have perked up, now that their thirst has been quenched.

This morning we left the house on our daily excursion with the dogs, and were captured by the sight of our Limelight Hydrangeas blooming in front of our house. We have been observing this particular shrub as it struggled through the heat of the summer. Over the last three days it transformed from flower buds beginning to open, to full blown splendor.

There must be some kind of bionic growth and bloom fertilizer associated with heavy thunderstorms.

IN THE FIELD: Asking Permission

August 3, 2011 1 comment

There are a lot of great photographic opportunities out there. All you have to do is ask.

And I’ve gotten really good at the asking part. You can too.

This past spring, I had stopped in at a local garden center to see what they had available to add to our gardens this year. Their flower displays were outstanding and I knew this would be a great site to shoot. But before I even got the camera out, I found the manager and asked him if I could take some photographs. I explained that I was a photographer and I would really enjoy being able to capture all that wonderful color. He was pleased to think his shop had gotten my attention, and was more than happy to allow me access.

I offered him prints of my photographs, if he would like them, as a courtesy for giving me permission to shoot. Since I was there early in the morning before they were busy with customers, and I had asked in advance, I had free reign of the entire location. I was there almost two hours, and got some shots that I am very happy with.

A few weeks ago, I popped into a historic forge located near my house that was used for making pig iron in the 18th & 19th centuries. I have lost track of the number of times I had passed by this site, and this day I thought I would finally check it out. I walked around for a few minutes and realized there was a lot of potential there.

I found the person in charge, told him who I was and what I wanted to do. Again, since I asked first, I had complete access to the entire property. I was able to photograph the restored buildings, old equipment and stone walls, the surrounding gardens and even the archeological dig areas. And I got a standing invitation to come back whenever I wanted.

So, the moral of my story is this: It is critical that you ask permission first. Especially if you are in a place that is not public domain.

Think of it this way…if you ask permission of someone the way you would want to be asked, most people will grant you access. Show them the respect you would like to have for your property. If you were walking up your driveway to get your mail one afternoon and a person driving or walking by asked you if they could take a picture of the hydrangea on your property that just came into bloom…most likely, you would grant them permission.

Unless you are a curmudgeon. And when you come across one of those…walk away quickly and quietly.