October 23, 2011

An experiment on the patio

I decided to try an experiment this weekend, for two reasons:

1. The weather was incredibly perfect. Days like this are numbered, and soon it will be quite uncomfortable to dawdle outside taking photos.
2. My new camera gives me a little more flexibility with macro photography, optical zoom, and low light situations. I needed to try it out.

The experiment: to capture as many shots as I could in one small area of the garden.
The goal: to avoid searching out good photos by moving around, and instead to create good photos by staying in one spot, and being observant and creative with light and composition.

Here's what I discovered:

The Burning Bush near the patio is still green and lush, while the one I captured in a previous post has lost most of its leaves.

Chipmunks are hard to photograph because they move fast, and I'm still trying to figure out all the buttons on this camera.

The Oak canopy is still a comforting filtershading the garden from the bright sun. Soon these shots will be grey and blue and white, with very little green or warm tones in sight.

I have lots of leaves to rake, but I need to be very careful how I handle them.

I finally captured a decent photo of this bright Begonia, which eluded me all summer.

Simple objects composed in interesting ways and drenched with autumn's oblique light create pretty good shots.


  1. It is wonderful how, through the lens of a mechanical device like the camera, we can see so much more which has been overlooked by the naked eye. The best part is that the digital camera has reinforced our love of nature in many ways. Your photos are marvelous.

  2. Great photos! Autumn Belle's comment is so true--we often notice more through the eyes of a camera. Have fun with your camera and enjoy these remaining beautiful days of autumn!

  3. How fun! Congrats on the new camera :) Great shots!

  4. Congrats on getting a new camera!! That's always great motivation to get out there and shoot photos. Looks like you did it too! It also looks lots more like fall there then here, although we have a shot of winter coming this week so that will wipe everything out. :-(
    Have fun with the camera & good luck figuring out the buttons! I still haven't mastered mine...

  5. Beth I love the photos your new camera is capturing and of course you have a good eye for choosing the subjects.

  6. Interesting experiment. Love the last shot, the watering can, and of course, your beautiful begonia!

  7. Excellent idea! I just may try it. :o) I really like your photos, esp. the ones that are completely natural. Sometimes blog photography can feel a bit staged but I felt like I was in your garden.

  8. @Autumn Belle: Yes! I find myself looking at little things (and big ones, too) in a different way. Thank you.

    @Rose: Thanks! It's fun to have a new toy. Lots of practice ahead. :)

    @Rebecca: Thank you! It's fun to try new techniques.

  9. @Kathleen: Thank you. I can't imagine mastering the camera. I would say you've come pretty close! We've been fortunate this year here with mild weather. Wish the winter would be like that, too.

    @Donna: Thank you for your kind compliment. Always so much to learn, which increases the fun!

    @Holley: Thanks! I just couldn't seem to get the light right for the Begonia with the other camera. It's such a bright red that the yellow stamens were washed out.

    @TS: Thank you! It really was a fun experiment. It's amazing what you see when you sit still and look closely at your surroundings. Those darn chipmunks!

  10. I think your new camera and of course more importantly the person using it took some fabulous images. As you say learning to look is always THE most important thing. Christina

  11. Od około trzech miesięcy też mam nowy aparat, jestem z niego zadowolona, ale i wiem, że nie wszystkie jego możliwości wykorzystuję.To wcale nie jest takie łatwe ;-). Makro kwiatka na pierwszym zdjęciu - bardzo ładne.Pozdrawiam

  12. Loved the beautiful, warm autumn colours. Congrats, Beth!

  13. I like how your experiment turned out...gorgeous! There is so much to see if you really look.

  14. @Christina: Thank you! I'm getting more confident about the photography with practice. It is fascinating to try to catch the light in just the right way.

    @Giga: Oh, I hope you enjoy your new camera, too! The macro close-ups are so much fun. I love to study blown-up images of flowers. The back-lighting with this new camera is a little tricky, so it will be fun to figure it out!

    @Dona: Thanks! There are so many things to photograph and the weather has been good. I don't enjoy photography on cold winter days, so I'm trying to spend as much time outside now as I can.

    @Sage: Yes, so much to see. I like these experiments--they help me to appreciate the little things more. :)

  15. I love seeing how you're stepping out of your comfort zone with your photography! It's so much fun experimenting and pushing our limits. You did capture a great shot of the begonia. I'm not sure what makes some flowers so difficult to shoot...it's a mystery until I come across something that helps me to better understand why!

  16. @Cat: Thanks! That means a lot coming from you. I'm getting to the point that I don't want to post mediocre photos--which will make it even more challenging. :)