Yesterday I delivered an hour-long lecture on digital photography for gardeners to the Master Gardeners in Ontario’s zone 6. I’m glad to have it over, as I put quite a bit of pressure on myself to deliver a lot of information in a short time in an interesting manner (I had 70 powerpoint slides; 40 of them were images illustrating points).
It was well received, and I’ve been asked to create a follow-on presentation for our local Master Gardeners group that deals exclusively with the post-production process (after you press the button and take the picture).
One side-effect of the seminar for the Technical Update session is that I’ve added a PDF to my website, which is a free download: a composition guide and checklist for garden photography.
To use the composition guide, print the page (landscape mode) onto a transparency. Some modern cameras provide this grid through the viewfinder, or on the LCD display screen.
Look through the grid at your composition: try to position straight lines at or near one of the lines on the guide. Or, if you’ve got specific points of interest, try to position them at the circles where the lines intersect. Make sure you check out both landscape and portrait orientations of the grid. Once you’ve got a composition that you’re happy with, notice where the edges are, and use your camera to capture the composition.
I brought some of my canvases to the seminar, and showed them at a table (had a folder with proofs of the whole set of still life images, with finished canvas size and price marked on each, and postcards with my email address and website).
I was hoping to show a jacquard-weave tapestry blanket of three David Austin roses, but it wasn’t ready on time (it will be ready on Monday: figures, eh?).
At the seminar I met a designer who may contact me to display some canvasses at a charity design house she’s working on: this could be an opportunity to show some images in the sort of setting they’d be used in. We’ll see what happens.
That was a busy day: I need to take a few days off, because I’ve been working 60-hour weeks at work, plus pulling together the seminar.
I’ve got a week of vacation coming the first week of December. If not before then, I’ll use some of that time to convert one of my spare bedrooms into a photo studio, so I don’t have to cart everything down from the third floor to the dining table when I want to do a photo shoot.