holt_361_1315_1920(c).jpgThe recent lesson in the Learning Center began as an explanation of the Backlit Aloe- Huntington Gardens, a new print in the Store, and quickly became a study of light and how photographers must work with all sorts of light.  It’s great to plan a photo shoot around an early morning, to help make good luck and light “happen”, but we don’t always have that chance.

Working in Southern California, the light will often get hard, fast.  Bright, contrasty light makes for flat boring garden photos with deep shadows lacking any detail. So it was in the Huntington Botanical Garden when I photographed Aloes.


Aloes are now coming into full bloom in Southern California.  While February means brutal cold and miserable weather in much of the Northern Hemisphere, its peak time for Aloes in the southern part of the State. The Aloe arborescens in these photos make striking photos when backlit.  They are strongly graphic in their own right but as succulents, have a fleshy almost translucent quality.  Back light really takes advantage of this.

Most to you aren’t going to be out photographing in February but remember when you are out working in hard light, look for back light.  Think of Aloe light.