Late Fall and the onset of Winter light challenges the photographer with it's harsh cool light and cold temperatures. The best times to get softer light referred to as the "Magic Hour" or the "Golden Hour" in photography is the first and last hour of sunlight on a typical sunny day. In Memphis, right now that would be 7am - 8am and 4pm - 5pm, both chilly times when your fingers feel frozen and the camera is sluggish. So, even though I didn't pick the best time of day to shoot for this post (2pm - extremely harsh light, but warmer!) we can still observe the complimentary colors that dominate the landscape at this time of year when all the green recedes.
In art speak, complimentary colors are those that are opposite primary colors on the color wheel, or the colors that are made when you combine primary colors together. They are Orange, Green, and Purple. They are also famed for having a special vibration or dynamic complimentary effect visually, when paired with the color they are opposite to on the color wheel. It's said that the relationship between the color pair makes an image more exciting or draws in the viewer. Garden designers know about this too (as they are essentially artists), so it's no mistake that you can find these details present when visiting the new Nature Photography Garden.
Here are two compositions that are all about PURPLE and YELLOW
Here are two compositions featuring ORANGE and BLUE
...and here are two compositions with GREEN and RED
and this last shot is red and a teeny bit green, but I couldn't help post it for the Sedum nestled between these two logs is just so awesome!
Lastly, I want to tell you all about the Hawk that came and visited the garden when I was photographing these Sedums. I stood up as it flew to its perch on this arbor. I knew I was in a bad place to get a good shot of it, but also that if I moved it would fly away. So I set my camera (yes I use manual settings like an old fashioned photographer) to capture the Hawk which was in shadow. This meant, because I didn't have a telephoto lens that would allow me to zoom in closely from really far away (so that only the Hawk would be in the frame), that I had too much bright landscape in the foreground. What I ended up with is a "horrible" unbalanced shot, but I recorded the Hawk for my daughters to see—which was the point of this photograph. Also, I thought I'd show it here as an example of the fact that there are many factors that go into a really great shot.
This new Nature Photography Garden is exciting and no doubt, if you take the advice inscribed in the concrete path as you enter this garden "Adopt The Pace of Nature Her Secret Is Patience" there will many amazing things to witness here. Between the plants, the water and the creatures that those two things invite, this is already a Photographer's treat!
Stay tuned (next year) for some "In The Field" sessions which will consist of a two hour long walk with me, a small group of you interested folks and your cameras discussing 'art in the landscape' and how to make interesting compositions with your camera.
...until next time!
Stephanie C. Cosby ~ Fine Art Photographer
Stephanie is a guest blogger who is blogging about the art and aesthetics of plants/habitats/gardens and reasons to conserve them.
Stephanie's Tumblr (of Chris Cosby designed gardens and plant collections)