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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.

Use White Wisely

The whitest or brightest spot in any photograph will always command the most attention. It's where your eye will always settle. When it is a stray flower, litter, a plastic chair or other insignificant object, it can ruin an otherwise stunning photograph. So use white wisely--intentially making it the focal point of your photograph or allowing it to help direct the eye around the image or toward a focal point.

This carefully tended English-style garden surrounds a pool in Connecticut. White coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan') are the stars of the garden.

Photo ©2008 Lee Anne White. All rights reserved.

Capture the Gesture of Plants

Like people, plants convey a sense of gesture. For instance, these dogwood blossoms looked to me as if they were "dancing" in the wind. So I moved in close with a macro lens to fill the frame with petals facing different directions--but not so close as to crop out that sense of direction or movement. Giving them a little breathing space or "face room" was important as well.

Photo ©2007 Lee Anne White. All rights reserved. Cornus florida 'Decker' photographed at Yew Dell Gardens, Kentucky.