Wednesday, September 10, 2008
In Their Prime
Last night I attended the first session of a Master Gardener sponsored plant photography class. Brian and Shirley Loflin, authors of Grasses of the Texas Hill Country, are teaching the course. A lot of the technical talk about sensor size, TTL metering, and histograms flew over my head. My Nikon D40x is my first SLR, and the learning curve is pretty steep. I have learned the basics of depth of field, ISO, and white balance so next time I'll have room in my brain to comprehend the more advanced concepts.
What I did understand easily was choose the plant in its prime. I do appreciate the value of less-than-prime specimens, and I think Brian and Shirley would agree that beauty can be found anywhere. But what they were emphasizing, especially for their books, is that if you are going to show a specimen of a plant then by all means pick the best-looking one!
And if you have to do a little grooming to make that best one stand out, then do it. Just try to return the area to how it looked before you took the picture if you aren't in your own yard. If your weeds are the offending ones, then you are free to pull them out. You're also always welcome to pull a few of mine!
Very few of my plants are in their prime currently. But I think the rock rose is pretty darn close. I've made my peace with my passionflower vine that isn't purple, especially now that it's blooming regularly. (Although I have hedged my bets on that love and have some purple passionflower vine cuttings rooting.)
I don't know whether Brian and Shirley would consider this photo one of a plant in its prime, but I love its prime potential.