Good Garden Photography

The first book in the PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop

The book received the 2015 Gold Award from the Garden Writer’s Association as best overall garden book !

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“Hunting for photos is one of the great joys of garden photography.  It is the distillation of a grand garden experience down to images that tell a story of how the garden makes you, the photographer, feel. When your photos tell stories, when they reveal not just the garden but what you have to say about it, they are “good” photos.”

This opens the Introduction to Good Garden Photography, the first book in The PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop series.  The series is written by Saxon Holt, an award winning garden photographer with 30 years photographing gardens, 20+ books, and a Fellow of Garden Writers of America.


This book is written for gardeners and full of color photos in beautiful gardens showing how the photos were captured, with an eye for telling a story.  Snapshots come easily in a beautiful garden but they only serve as memory jogs. This book helps you learn to compose your photo to tell a photographer’s story.

If you are fascinated by the arrangement of stones in a path, point your camera at the path. If you are captivated by the delicate shape of a flower, fill the frame with it. If you discover a secret garden, use your camera to show what makes it private. Make sure your viewer sees what you see.

“Good Garden Photography” is broken into six chapters that are described below (photo1.1 to 1.6). Each lesson comes directly from the on-line Workshop and are bundled here.  The lessons build on the previous; by the end of the workshop, you will be armed with fundamental concepts that will encourage you to go out and make ‘good’ garden photographs.

Do have fun.  Buy the Book – $9.95 in the Bookstore.

Each lesson is available as individual iBooks in iTunes or Google Play.

Lesson 1.1:

California drought tolerant succulent garden 871-16

 Composition 101: Fill the Frame.  Begin by thinking of your camera viewfinder as a frame, wherein you compose your picture. The core objective of any good photo is to fill the entire frame with purpose. Do not waste space with elements that contribute nothing to your story. Use the camera viewfinder (or your crop tool later) and fill the frame.


Lesson 1.2 

Natural lawn of No Mow fescue 938-026

Composition and Balance.  Once we establish the basic concept of filling the frame, we need a few basic ideas of how to compose within it. The “rule of thirds” will underpin many ways to achieve a good weight and balance in the shapes and spaces we see, as we use colors, textures, lines, and focal points to make photos interesting.


Lesson 1.3 


Finding the Light.  Understanding light is key to getting good photos. Light fundamentally affects color renditions in garden photography; here, we will learn how to find the best light for garden subjects.


Lesson 1.4 

O'Byrne garden 821_0366

Garden Appreciation.  A good garden photo has a purpose. Learn to appreciate what makes a garden work. The beauty you see is not an accident; don’t let your photos be accidental.


Lesson 1.5 

Valentine wall - Succulents in bright light against white stucco wall

Style: Provocation and Intrigue.  A good garden photo should invite the viewer to look closer, provoking a greater sense of what the photographer sees. This can be done with unexpected elements—even whimsical ones—as you develop your own style.


Lesson 1.6


Tell your Story. A good photo invites a story; it is not a mere grab shot. How does the garden make you, the photographer, feel? Capture the essence of what you see in the garden.

To expand upon the information provided in each of the lessons in the book, you will find links to other posts at the end of each lesson.  These supplemental lessons come with membership to PhotoBotanic Learning Center.


Buy the Book – $9.95 in the Bookstore.