Look Up-Look Down-Look All Around

September 8, 2009 070 (2)
September is a fine time to do some experimenting with the cameras.
Shown above is Japanese blood grass, Imperata cylindrica.

September 4, 2009 024 (2)
Trying different perspectives can make for some interesting images. Like climbing up on a ladder to get a bird’s eye view…
Shown above is crossvine, Bignonia capreolata ‘Tangerine Beauty’.

September 8, 2009 010 (2)
Or wading into the middle of the garden bed instead of staying safely on the path. Sometimes boots are required for these forays.
Shown above is Verbena bonariensis.

September 4, 2009 059 (2)
Or stick the camera up underneath the foliage for a bug’s eye view.
Shown above is Heuchera ‘Silver Scrolls’.

September 4, 2009 076 (2)
Even the veggie plot is full of photo ops. Note the shadow of the metal hoop through the okra leaf.
Shown above is

Exciting dwarf red cowhorn okra! This variety was given to our friend, Kurt Bridges, about 18 years ago by one of his patients, who has been growing this unique okra for many years. It is believed that this okra may have been brought to Louisiana by African slaves, and then grown for generations in St. Landry parish. The plants average about 3’ tall and spread some, and produce many giant 12” fluted red pods that have some green on the part of the pod that does not receive much sunshine.”

Quotations are from the Baker Creek seed catalog description. It seems our pods do not receive much sunshine.

September 4, 2009 074 (2)
This okra is grown for its ornamental value.
See above.

September 4, 2009 083 (2)
The camera can fit into spaces the eyes of human heads cannot.
Shown above are the black stems of Northern maidenhair fern, Adiatum pedatum amongst the mosses of the trough planter.

September 8, 2009 042 (2)
Snap away at whatever is nearby.
Shown above is Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Shield’.

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Sometimes there is more to a scene than meets the eye.
Shown above is the fruit of Passionvine, Passiflora incarnata.

September 4, 2009 038 (3)
Don’t be inhibited by convention.
Shown above is a multi trunked Silver Maple, Acer saccharinum.

September 4, 2009 062 (2)
You might end up with the rarest of treasures.
Shown above are the new sprouts from seeds collected from a daylily cross bred by Fairegarden. The female flower was Hemerocallis ‘Heavenly Treasure’ and the male pollen was lovingly hand tapped on the pistil from an H. ‘Dave Rhyne’ flower. Ladies and gentlemen, we have germination. Click here to read about the night of passion details.

This month’s tip: All of the garden shots are taken using the macro setting on the Canon Powershot A720 IS, not just the close ups. Macro is also used on the Canon Powershot SX1 IS for the long shots. The C setting allows for supermacro, but so far the old 720 takes a better macro image. There will always be more to learn.


If you are interested in some other photo tips from a strictly point and shoot shutterbug, check out these other photography posts:
About The Light-May
About The Light-June
In Need Of A Focal Point

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36 Responses to Look Up-Look Down-Look All Around

  1. Frances, I need all kind of (help) tips, as I am a strictly point and shoot shutterbug. I don’t know why I resisted getting a digital camera for so long, oh wait I do, it’s called a “Beta” video recorder. Once burned, twice shy. Now I seem to wait forever, making sure that it is not an instant fad, and then I will jump on the bandwagon. Wow, I am full of cliches this morning.
    Your photographs, as always, are beautiful.

    Hi Deborah, thanks. I have to laugh about your shyness to move forward after the bad beta experience, sorry but that was a real debacle, wasn’t it? We made the right choice with VHS, but that stuff was very expensive way back then. Digital cameras have gotten so much cheaper too. My old camera was less than $200. Really good ones can now be had for much less than that too. What would we do without cliches! HA πŸ™‚

  2. Painchaud says:

    Again beautiful pictures….love the spider web =)

    Thanks PainChaud. I believe spider webs to be true art of the highest form. πŸ™‚

  3. Tyra says:

    Beautiful close-up photos Frances.

    Have a lovely weekend in Tennessee / Tyra

    Thanks Tyra. You too, only in Sweden. πŸ™‚

  4. Great photos! Love the different aspects of taking us where we’ve never been before. Congratulations on the new arrivals in your nursery! πŸ™‚


    Hi Cameron, thanks. The baby daylilies are quite exciting. I will probably bring them inside to grow under the lights over the winter to speed things up, although it is not necessary. What have I got to lose anyway? Just having them form seed pods was great, then germination is icing on the cake. πŸ™‚

  5. Jen says:

    I need all the photography help I can get, Frances, so I appreciate these tips. My favorite here is the huechera – love the color of the light shining through from underneath. And congrats on the germination of the cross-breed lily!

    Thanks Jen. These aren’t very good tips, but sometimes one can get an interesting shot by sticking the camera under stuff. The daylily babies make me so happy. It will be fun to see what the flower looks like too. πŸ™‚

  6. Great shots as ever. Thanks for the photo tips.

    So that’s how okra grows.

    Continued good luck with day lily. Hand pollinated, now that’s proper gardening!

    Thanks Rob. This is the first attempt at okra. I like the leaf size and the overall form. But I thought it was going to be red. Still nice though. This daylily business is most exciting. When the little blades poked their heads up I was overjoyed. πŸ™‚

  7. ourfriendben says:

    The spiderweb is my fave, too, Frances, though all the shots are lovely. And as an okra enthusiast, I too was scandalized that you don’t actually eat okra! Of course, my favorite way of eating it—fried—would bring out the health police in a heartbeat, but it’s never slimy when done that way. What do you plan to call your daylily cross? Heavenly Faire?

    Hi OFB, thanks. I do like fried okra, but since it is not exactly the healthiest calories to put in one’s mouth, it is no longer on the menu. Only dark chocolate gets the honor of being eaten despite the calories, worth it! I will have to wait and see what the flower looks like before naming the daylily, but that is an excellent name! πŸ™‚

  8. Dave says:

    Nice pictures! We have quite a few passion fruits growing in the garden. I never planted them but they are fun to watch grow. I like the photos taken from underneath the plants. Very neat!

    Hi Dave, thanks. I haven’t planted any of these passionvines either. Most get pulled but we leave a few for the gulf fritt butterflies. We have not seen a single one of those this year. Hardly any butterflies at all except the cabbage moths.

  9. Sunita says:

    Amazing photos, Frances. I love that spiderweb. It reminds me of some beaded neckpiece that our tribal women wear. Absolutely beautiful!
    Another photo which I loved was that of the silver maple… it felt like I was looking down into some deep canyon. Honestly! I almost got a spot of vertigo when I looked at it . Go back and look at it again… do you see it too or is it only me?

    Hi Sunita, thanks. Spider webs are just so intricate, a miracle of nature. Just saying the word vertigo makes me dizzy! I do see what you mean. πŸ™‚

  10. Tatyana says:

    Hi Frances! I especially like Silver Maple trunks’ picture.

    Thanks Tatyana. Hope that shot didn’t make you dizzy! πŸ™‚ See the previous comment. HA

  11. Janet says:

    I really like the spider web shot…they work so hard to get their webs up. Very interesting shots. Super macro? That would be a nice feature.

    Hi Janet thanks. Super macro sounds better than it performs in my inept hands anyway. There are probably some other settings that should be adjusted to get to work better. The old Canon just points and shoots and if it makes this little whirring noise it will be a good shot. If or when that camera wears out, it will be a sad day. πŸ™‚

  12. Gail says:

    Frances, You always capture the best spider web shots! The others aren’t shabby either! It really is amazing what you can see if you are willing to climb all over the garden, get on your hands and knees or look up! Want to borrow my ladder! I’ve been up on it again…trying to decide what to edit and what to add! Have fun outside! gail

    You’re sweet Gail, thanks. The Financier put the ladder up on the arbor so I could wrap the hanging vines around the timbers. I love the view from up there, if not the height! You know what I think you should edit, don’t you? HA

  13. Jenny B says:

    The Spider Web seems to be the clear winner–it is for me anyway–I just love the way your photo showcases the intricacy of design. I love your idea of growing okra for the foliage. Another good idea to store away for next year. I grew beans this year for foliage, and enjoyed the sweet little blooms. The black stems of the Maidenhair Fern were striking–just like The Black Forest with all the lush underbrush. I am fascinated by the different textures of bark, so I was glad to see your shot of the middle of Maple trunks–it’s own little ecosystem!

    Have a great weekend!

    Hi Jenny, thanks. I love the spider web too. That is why it got to lead off the show. I grew some scarlet runner beans that have been just beautiful on tripod thingeys. I am happy with the okra too, but thought it was supposed to be red. There may be another variety that is redder. The plant is striking and easy to grow. The pods are cool looking and we could eat them if we wanted to. But we don’t. HA I love the black stems too, the trough is like a miniature landscape. I love the thought of a Black Forest too! πŸ™‚

  14. lotusleaf says:

    Hi Frances! Lovely photos from different perspectives. Amazing, how you could photograph the spider’s web. I also grow okra, but as a vegetable. Now I am looking at my okra plants with different eyes!

    Thanks Lotusleaf. When there is fog or heavy dew in the mornings the spider webs really are so visible. This time of year they are all over the garden. The okra flower is so beautiful, I am going to show it on bloom day. πŸ™‚

  15. tina says:

    Fantastic views. Those black stems look so cool!

    Thanks Tina. That trough has a lot of cool stuff going on. The mosses are very unusual too, rocks that I picked up along the side of the road one time that had moss on them. They were placed in the troughs until the plants filled in and the mosses spread together so nicely that I left them there. The ferns seem to like it too, it has been several years without me doing anything to them at all. πŸ™‚

  16. I love Verbena bonariensis… and it didn’t resow this year (or I weeded it, heh). I also love how the spiderweb almost appears pink in the light off the grass. Cool!

    Hi Monica thanks. So sorry about your VB, such an architectural plant. That spiderweb was along the wall behind the main house, not a place they are usually spotted. The blood grass makes a good background for anything. πŸ™‚

  17. Darla says:

    Love all of the different views…….you should be careful about climbing those ladders with camera in hand…….sigh—I do worry about you from time to time!

    Wow, thanks Darla. I should be worried about when on a ladder. I get dizzy at the least little thing. I do hang on very tightly though, with my arm around the rungs while snapping the shutter. I don’t spend much time on ladders, but do like the view of the garden from up there. πŸ™‚

  18. Dawn says:

    Hello Frances,
    I’m another spiderweb photo fan. Your pics really do give impressions of a bird’s & bug’s eye view. Lovely! If I were a bird I’d certainly want to live in your garden. Have a great weekend, my friend.

    Hi Dawn, so nice to see you and thanks! What a sweet thing to say. There are lots of birds here, they seem happy. Very few butterflies though for some reason this year. You too have a wonderful weekend. πŸ™‚

  19. lynnsgarden says:

    Hi Frances! I tried to photograph a spiderweb the other day, it was hardly visible on film 😦 That is one amazing web you captured! I grew okra last year and the 6 plants hardly produced enough pods for a recipe..the flowers were pretty though πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the photo links, I will make time to read them. And Congrats! on the daylily sprouts!

    Hi Lynn, thanks. There needs to be heavy dew on the spider webs for them to show up in a photo, and just a little light. I love the way the okra pods look and now have to find out how to dry them to use on wreaths and such. The daylily has great excitement potential if we can get flowers from it someday. πŸ™‚

  20. Catherine says:

    It is fun trying out the different angles that you don’t normally notice. I love that spiderweb picture.

    Thanks Catherine. Experimentation has produced some interesting results here in the photo departement. HA πŸ™‚

  21. Racquel says:

    Great shots today Frances. I love how you got over & under and everywhere between. πŸ™‚ That first shot of the spiderweb is my favorite. That is one huge web!

    Thanks Racquel. I love when the spiderwebs show up well in the photos, too. Very fallish and a good example of nature’s art. πŸ™‚

  22. Thanks, Frances, for taking us along on a photo shoot and sharing some of your secrets with us. I am always struggling with the disconnect between what I see and what the camera captures. You make me realize that sometimes the opposite can be true.

    Thanks Ricki. I still cannot show the garden as beautiful as it appears to my eyes in a photo. But the quest continues! πŸ™‚

  23. gittan says:

    Good morning Frances! That’s why I love my canon and its great revolving display that makes it possible to take pictures from every angel. Congratulations to your succesfull germination of those daylilies. Mine hasn’t shown yeat, but I sure hope they do =) Have a great weekend / kram gittan

    Hi Gittan. Those Canon’s are wonderful, I agree. It took about two to three weeks for the daylily seeds to germinate. Keep checking! πŸ™‚

  24. Rose says:

    Fantastic photos, Frances! You are becoming quite the photographer. I will have to check out some of these other sites for tips; I’m still trying to figure out why some of my close-ups focus on the wrong thing and make the object I wanted fuzzy. Congratulations on your success in daylily breeding! Looking forward to seeing the new “Fairegarden” daylily.

    Thanks Rose. I still know next to nothing about the cameras and settings, but taking thousands of pictures does improve the odds on one or two good ones. I think Robin of Robin’s Nesting Place wrote a post about the setting that would make the focus be on what you wanted it to be. Check her older posts for that info. I need to write it down! The daylily has great potential, for both parents were strong growing beautiful flowering plants. Fingers are crossed! πŸ™‚

  25. Joy says:

    Frances girl .. I am lagging behind posts darn!
    I loved that shot of the spider web ! I have so many in my garden and I wanted to take one just like yours ! .. I am determined so after seeing yours posted here .. I am going to keep trying .. thanks girl !
    Joy : )
    PS all of your other shots are great too LOL

    Thanks Joy. Don’t worry, the posts will wait until you get time to visit them. Isn’t that wonderful? All these bloggers have put up things for us to enjoy that will last for a very long time! Including you! The webs seems to show up better when covered in dew and just as the sun comes up. Keep trying, my friend! πŸ™‚

  26. Beckie says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos Frances! I especially loved the spider web. It is all about looking for the the unexpected and just trying different angles and lighting. (so easy to delete the ones you don’t like!)

    Can’t wait to see you daylily when it blooms!

    Thanks so much, Beckie. You would not believe how many photos I take just to get a few usable ones, thousands, at different times of day, but mostly in the early mornings. It will be years before the daylily blooms, but I am patient. πŸ™‚

  27. What delightful images you’ve captured. The first one looks ready for Halloween with the cool spider web, but my favorite is the shot of the Maple trunks, with the interesting textures. I’m still dealing with the challenge of getting my camera to focus on what I want to focus, rather than what the camera thinks it should.

    Hi MMD, thanks. It is looking like the spooky season here more and more everyday. It is starting to be foggy in the mornings, a very eerie look! I have the best luck with the focus thing when on macro setting. There is a little box that shows what the focus is going to be. Centering that on the flower, or whatever, seems to work. πŸ™‚

  28. Great photos, Frances. I especially love the trees. They look like falling soldiers.~~Dee

    Thanks Dee, but don’t scare me with the falling thing! I often worry about how sturdy those trunks are. This tree is very very close to my house! πŸ™‚

  29. Jan says:

    Great photos, as usual, Frances

    Always Growing

    Thanks Jan, glad you enjoyed them. πŸ™‚

  30. Hello Frances, thank you for this incredible post. I had to look in a dictionary what a “slope” was and itΒ΄s pretty much the place I live, in a hill in the Los Andes mountains.
    Well, thank you for the tips about your camera shots… IΒ΄m looking for a model to buy but stil donΒ΄t know which one..
    Thank you also for your visit to my blog.
    MarΓ­a Cecilia, from Chile, southamerica

    Thanks so much, Maria. We probably do garden on similar terrain it sounds like. Excellent drainage! I loved seeing your beautiful garden and where you live. Chile is like heaven! I do endorse the Canon cameras. πŸ™‚

  31. Sweet Bay says:

    What a perfectly perfect spider web. Beautiful!

    Thanks Sweet Bay. I never tire of studying those webs, marvels of nature. πŸ™‚

  32. marmee says:

    love the spider web glowing in the sun…also just getting different perspectives is so important. love the heuchera.

    Thanks Marmee. I adore these spider webs of early fall. So decadent, like the season as a whole. Love it! πŸ™‚

  33. Carol says:

    What a FUN post Frances! You have some great shots here … I love so many but have to say the first is stunning as well as the black stems of Maidenhair fern, the fruit of Passion vine and your trunks of Silver Maple. Well they are all just lovely. I take my gardening hat off to you, for sharing and inspiring others to see differently. Your generosity is most noteworthy. Please do not fall off any ladders!

    You are so sweet, Carol, thank so much for those kind words. I have such a fear of heights and falling off the ladder, I don’t know if that makes it more or less likely to happen. I do hold on very tightly. πŸ™‚

  34. Alexa says:

    I found myself surprised by the perspective toward the Silver Maple. Very intimate, no?

    Hi Alexa, thanks and welcome. Looking at the silver maple continuously for ten years, that perspective is indeed intimate and new. πŸ™‚

  35. Sue says:

    What a fun post! Your photos are awesome! I think the spider web and yucca are my favorites.

    Thanks Sue. This is my first try at growing yuccas and I am loving the architectural presence they bring to the table, er container. πŸ™‚

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