I am taking a flower photography course. Yes, a flower course in Maine in January! Kathleen Clemons just happens to be from Maine as well. She is quite well known in the world of flower photography, and it is difficult to get a spot in her classes, so January it is. This is a four week course, and the instructor is very involved with presenting lessons, leading discussions, and critiquing our photos.
Many photography courses are just a series of videos with examples. This one is nice because for each lesson, we are asked to upload five photographs of flowers we have taken that week. Kathleen then does a critique of the student’s photographs. She captures a video as she is doing our critiques, so it is a very personalized experience.
I bought my flowers at Hannaford’s grocery store, which means they aren’t very exciting, but I still had fun with lesson 1. Here are my five images:
I didn’t take as much time as I wanted with this first lesson. I signed up for the course four months ago, and had no idea I would be in the midst of a major late-life crisis, I mean lifestyle challenge. But, I managed to put aside my glucose monitor and cycling cleats for a few hours in order to complete the lesson.
I received my critiques this morning, and I was happy with the results. Kathleen is very thorough and helpful, and I found it worthwhile. She is very good at pointing out mistakes without hurting your feelings. One of the things she does is pick her favorite of your five images. She said I made that hard for her (because she liked several, not because she couldn’t find one good one 😂. I imagine she says that to everyone). Guess which one she picked?
Kathleen picked the tulip. She liked the composition and the background. She also liked the red color and the texture of the flower. She said it is often hard to photograph red.
Here is a slideshow of some of Kathleen’s flower portraits from her gallery:
Here are some more photos from our tour – I will include several clickable galleries. There was a nice Visitor Center and Gift Shop at the entrance to the gardens. Once inside, you were free to wander along many different paths. We didn’t see it all, but enjoyed what we did see.
Beautiful flowers were along all of the paths, even coming from the parking lot to inside the gardens. You can get quite close to the flowers, so next time I will bring the real camera.
The Giant Trolls are a new attraction at the gardens. There are five of them and they each share a different aspect of forest lore about trees. … you can read more about the trolls here – Guardians of the Seeds. They are a very big hit with kids. We managed to find four of the five trolls. We saw the fifth troll, but made a tactical error by turning right to the fairy house village (1 of 4 stars). Then someone in our party needed to find a restroom so we left the missing troll (the last photo in the gallery) for next time 😂
On the way out of the gardens (our one complaint – the way to the exit was not well-marked), Kathy found a pretty little bird, I found some bees, and we checked out a few more flowers.
It was quite a successful visit to the gardens, and I thank Kathy & Steve for kidnapping me. We stopped in Camden for lunch, and closed the day with pizza for dinner!
I was kidnapped today by Kathy and Steve. We made the 90+ minute drive to Boothbay to visit the beautiful botanical gardens. We had reservations for 9:30-10:00am, so we got in before it got too hot. It was very humid.
These are just a few teaser pics … will have more coming out in the next day or so. These are fun ones made using the studio lighting mode with the iPhone. (Click for larger pics)
It is Friday afternoon, and we have had rain off and on all day, with more to come, but no big winds so far. We need the rain, so it has been a pleasant day.
Lou is toiling away on the railroad – I will have to see if he has anything I can photograph to share. I just know he is serious about whatever he is doing, because he wakes up in the middle of the night trying to figure out why he is missing two pieces of track …
I am still in my flower phase. Today I had some fun working with very shallow depth of field. This is a bit far on the artsy scale for me, but it is a good challenge. This first photo almost works for me, but I feel the need for slightly more focus. It is kind of pretty, and I can see potential for this type of shot.
This next attempt to capture the insides (a technical flower term) of a lily was not the easiest subject to tackle. This first photo makes me itchy. I have a difficult time with so much of the subject out of focus.
This next shot is a good compromise – most of the insides are in focus, with a soft background. That bright yellow in the background might be distracting, but that is a lesson for another day.
And here is an iPhone snap – lots easier, but nothing special. Thanks for bearing with my experiments – I like to document what I am doing so I can see if I improve in the future.
A busy day … several trips to and from town – getting the jeep detailed, getting the dogs clean, and shopping for food for the humans. I cannot believe how much food prices have increased. I choked when I saw the total bill, but then, maybe I shouldn’t have picked up stuff like $19.99/lb strip steaks. Yikes!
Managed to find a little time to play with a few flowers. These are grocery store flowers, not homegrown. Trying to refresh my memory on how to do macro flower photography, so these are just practice shots.