Yes, I know I promised a post about the garden, but the discussions going on in the garden-blogosphere have just been too interesting.
First, David Perry at A Photographer's Gardening Blog posts about the craft of composing the perfect picture in his post You Silly Goose, of Course it Matters When You Shoot It. He talks about picking just the perfect time, just the right focus, being patient (do read the post, it's worth it).
"There is an immense difference between ‘taking a picture’ and making a picture." He says. And I say "Yes, he's right. Those pictures are amazing!" And want to sign up for a digital photography class right that moment. Or at least learn a little better how my amazing camera works.
Then, today, a GardenRant post by guest-ranter Joseph Tychonievich of Green Sparrow Gardens proclaims: Stop the Photoshopping. Joseph tells his story of seeing how the photos for gardening catalogues are made, and has a rather funny picture of a single daffodil to be photographed against a green background with perfect lighting. That daffodil will then be photoshopped to perfection and combined with a generic garden picture for inclusion in the catalogue. And I read that post and say "Yes, he's right. It really is ridiculous where all the photoshopping is taking us. I want to show my garden and my plants the way they really are."
But then I stop and think. Because really, David's photos are works of art. Expressions of creativity. He does with his camera what artists used to do with paint and paintbrush. And I'd love to learn more about this art. Besides, very often, the garden looks so much more vibrant and yummy for real than through the camera's lens. A close-up of a single plant is easy enough, but try to show four or five plants, and you lose the vibrant red of the California Fuchsia blossoms in the sea of greens. And yes, changing the contrast, saturation, or other aspects of the picture using software is quite helpful at times. Those finches I photographed through the window would have been small dots without the magic of my computer.
As for the catalogues, well, maybe it's not realistic to expect they show the real plants. There isn't a fashion photograph or any other advertisment that hasn't been photoshopped heavily. And who knows, if you buy that daffodil, and look at it on a March morning, just as the rosy morning light is touching its petals, it will look just like the photo, for one precious minute.
Meanwhile, I'll see whether I can improve my photography skills, and I'll continue to enjoy the different ways in which different people share what they find in their gardens.