Thursday, July 10, 2014

Photos and materials

I spend my early mornings checking in with several blogs:  ranches and animals first and then on to flower and flower farm blogs.  Most of them post beautiful photos of their animals and flowers - really good photos.  

I'm a bad photographer.  I own a good Nikon dslr  that I bought last year.  Even as I just point and shoot I sometimes luck out because of the camera quality, not my skill.  But I know I need to hunker down and learn some stuff.  I'm also a poor self teacher.

During the past week I've been taking new photos for the website.  Aside from my lack of skill, gettting a good picture of a flower arrangement is a huge challenge.  If you're a florist and you want to see what your arrangement REALLY looks like, take a pic.

The process can take hours if I'm also answering the phone, taking orders and waiting on customers.  Even if I'm not busy, editing an arrangement is like editing an essay - the old cut and paste method.

Here's an arrangement that Lizzie made before revision:

It's pretty and before we saw the photo it looked like it had movement.

We expanded the reach almost beyond our comfort zone but in the photo it looks more interesting and has more movement.  Learn and learn some more about how best to use materials.

I took twenty photos of this arrangement, adjusting angles, even replacing some of the flowers, then putting them back in where Marisa had originally placed them,  and I never saw that leaf blocking the peony in the middle of the arrangement. Taking photos is so much about 'seeing.'

I worried over the high contrast in this arrangement and fussed with placement of the burgundy and blue, filled in small gaps that yawned as big holes in the photo.  I turned it every which way before I settled on an angle.    Is that phone ringing again?

I made this arrangement three times and took a dozen photos.

I'm hoping to be finished by next week.  I have beautiful professional photos of some of our weddings - the challenge there is choosing which ones I like best.

I think a photo class is in my future.


rachel said...

On a much less aesthetic note, taking photographs can also show you (me) all too vividly how shabby and battered your paintwork has become - and in one memorable shot, having a snapshot of one of the cats standing draped in a gauzy scarf (yes! silliness!) revealed that under the dresser behind that cat lay my long-lost slipper.......

Jen said...

I had this experience the last time I got flowers with you, and I was playing around with putting them in different vases and taking pictures. I learned a lot about making arrangements from looking at the pictures, which seems weird, but the more pictures I take the more I think that's true. And it's really hard to take a picture of an arrangement that does it justice, so I usually go for closeups. Your pictures are beautiful--that before and after and your comments are instructive. That last arrangement is killer (and your picture of it). That should be the centerpiece (so to speak) of your website (and my life).

When I started on instagram I put a not very well thought out post on my blog which I later removed. Steve made an interesting comment, that you echo here. That, for him Instagram is all about "seeing". That (paraphrasing here) it had enabled hime to see more and in new ways.

Amelia said...

I think your arrangements are gorgeous and agree with Jen on that last one, oh heck all of them. Which means your pictures are doing them justice. I think the best way to improve one's photography is practice and experimentation, I took a course years ago (before digital) and don't remember applying anything they taught, it's the difference between book learning and actual experiencing, in my view.

An Urban Cottage said...

But what to do about the reds? I think you need a filter or something. They just don't come out right.

I love these. Especially the reworked first...and the last.

flwrjane said...

OMG Shelley, you are such an inspiration.

I would never had the patience to do this, and yet I see how it pays off.

Looking forward to seeing your new website.

I am presently phone and camera less, so I'll have to just enjoy your shots.

xo J

flowers on my table said...

Shelley, good luck with the Website, I am sure you will do it justice. The arrangements look lovely. Love Linda x

Alicia said...

this last arrangement and picture are my favourite ones!

Unknown said...

Wow, amazing flowers, and so do the pictures of them that were taken! The author is pretty talented. It's awesome that blogs as this one exist. There is so much inspiration can be found on it, and, of course, information useful for different purposes. You may learn about flowers or write in your college paper about process of gardening, for example.