Be Alert to Backgrounds

Dicentra spectabilis, Bleeding Heart wildflowers in spring woodland garden, Boninti Garden, Virginia

One of the pleasures of winter for a garden photographer is reviewing photo shoots from earlier in the year and being transported back in time.

I have a very poor memory for most things, but my visual memory is excellent and I remember quite well my thought process when I am making photos.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis, Bleeding Heart wildflowers in spring woodland garden, Virginia

I made this photo of the Bleeding Hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) in a woodland garden in Virginia soon after entering the garden seeing a shaft of light backlighting the flowers. I quickly noticed a patch of blue Phlox nearby which I could use as a background by positioning my camera just right.

Flowering bleeding hearts and fern in spring woodland garden, Virginia

A tripod is critical for careful composition, to be sure the shapes and colors align themselves for a tight composition.  By the time I was able to get my macro lens focused on the flowers there was very little blue to use as a background, but even the small amount makes a wonderful complement to the pink flowers.

Whenever you want to take a close up picture of flowers you will have the opportunity to use a blurry background as part of the composition. Be alert to everything the garden offers.


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