Sometimes when I photograph a garden, wanting to show a useful plant in a clever setting, I want it to be an illustration more than a photograph. An illustration is what the mind wants a scene to look like, and a photo too often reveals the truth.
But then again, what is the truth when we get lost in beauty ? We look past the imperfections and remember the beauty. Too often our photos don’t capture the scene we think we saw. Photoshop to the rescue.
When I came across this juniper shrub, Juniperus chinensis ‘Hetzii Glauca’ pruned into a pyramid at Leaning Pine Arboretum I was thrilled to see this gray foliage, tough, summer-dry shrub used so effectively in a formal setting.
I didn’t notice it needed a light pruning or the hole in the hedge beyond. I only saw the shapes. Perhaps not quite as abstractly as the opening photo, but I do pay close attention to shapes and how they can fill the spaces of a camera frame in composition.
So when I first saw the photo I really took, I was disappointed. I decided to let Photoshop do the pruning.
Before and After Slider
I don’t do this often, I don’t have time to tweak every photo to make it the idealized perfection we think we see. But these shapes were so carefully considered in this space, I wanted the photo to be about those shapes. I never saw those imperfections.
Space and Shape is a lesson in The PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshops
It is available as a mini ebook in iTunes of Google Play for $1.99