Longwood Gardens

Fill the Frame

Closer isn't always better, but it's usually worth checking out. It forces you to look not only at the subject, but also its shape and how it works within the camera frame. In other words, it encourages you to think as a visual designer, not just as a gardener or horticulturist. By moving in close, we get to experience the intimate details of this lotus (Nelumbo 'Mrs. Perry D. Slocum'). And graphically, the image benefits as much from the negative space (the green, leafy areas surrounding the petals) as it does from the flower filling the frame and "bleeding" off all four sides.

Photo ©2008 Lee Anne White. Photographed at Longwood Gardens.

Choose a Dramatic Angle

It's a natural tendency to photograph a garden from eye level. But the most interesting images are often taken from other angles. In the case of these sunflowers, I set the camera up low and shot toward the sky--which, fortunately, was very blue this day. This helped emphasize the height of the plant and convey its habit of reaching skyward.

These are cutleaf coneflowers (Rudbeckia laciniata 'Herbstsonne') photographed at Longwood Gardens. Easy-to-grow perennials, they reach 4 to 7 feet tall and bloom June through August. Give them plenty of sun or they'll need staking.

Photo ©2008 Lee Anne White. All rights reserved.