I spent last weekend at a garden photography workshop at Chanticleer Garden outside of Philadelphia. The weather was intermittently mixed clouds and sunshine but we got enough good lighting for some interesting photo opportunities on Saturday. The workshop was conducted by Alan Detrick and Roger Foley with a small group of enthusiast photographers who were really pleased to get early morning access to the gardens (with good lighting and before the public showed up). Roger and Alan gave regular and helpful advice as we tried to isolate our own respective visions of what was worth photographing in these early fall scenes. Both of them have extensive garden photography experience and have previously been judges for the Gardening Gone Wild photo contests.
Chanticleer is truly a pleasure garden in every sense for a gardener. They have seven horticulturalists who specialize in different sections of the garden and the attention to detail really shows throughout the garden. A weekend of photography might sound like a lot, but it barely scratches the surface of what is possible at Chanticleer. By the time you set up your shots the light is already moving on, not to mention the bees and butterflies.
One of the benefits of a small workshop like this one is that you get to share and comment on the other visions that people bring to their photography. I’ve seen time and again that different people will always bring different photos away from the same scene. And it only takes a few times of people pointing out the annoying branch you left in the composition before you start to think about it before you click the shutter.
Anyway, despite the weather being less than ideal, I had a great time and I’d like to do it again. If the thought appeals to you they are likely to run this workshop again next year.
Here are some selected photos from the weekend.
One of the points that Alan emphasized was the way the early morning light can delicately light the edges of a subject like the grasshopper in this image. And if it’s cold enough, they don’t run from the camera.
The Toad lilies are almost shrub-like and completely line the path through the Minder Woods. They are flagrantly in flower at this season, shaming all those spring blooming flowers that have long gone by now.
I’m generally not a big fan of the Cochicum which flop all over the hillsides at Chanticleer, but they do have their moments. Mostly I prefer the less gaudy fall crocus which are just now showing up in our lawn.
This is tropical vine that was up on the terrace in the house garden. I think it has to be started from seed each year.
I really liked the detail on the Callirhoe — it would be well worth adding to our hillside garden.
It’s also time for another Gardening Gone Wild Photo contest. Saxon Holt has selected a theme of filling the frame. I’m going to take this opportunity to enter a photo that I think truly fills the frame, though perhaps not in the way that Saxon Holt originally conceived.
This close-up image of the Aibika, a relative of okra, will be my entry for the October Picture This Contest.