iPhone Flower Photography Tips

 

In my career as a flower photographer, I've worked through seven cameras, which included a Hasselblad and three DSLRs, the latest being a Canon 5D. Today I certainly use my Canon, but my favorite and most used camera is my iPhone 6s!

Roses_and_flowers

I had the pleasure recently of sharing phone photo tips at a workshop in Sacramento, and thought why not continue the fun here on the blog. Before I went out the door that day, I had to take this shot of some of the photo ops I was bringing to the workshop. Spring flowers and leaves and two buckets of early blooming roses made the cut. The blush rose is G. Nabonnand  and the pink is Grandmother's Hat. 

 

Photo Possibilities with One Flower

Iphone_flower_photography
To create handouts for the workshop, I gleaned my camera roll for workflow examples. There is so much a photographer can do with just one flower. I often go through numerous variations per subject before finding an image that I might want to publish on Instagram, Facebook, my blog or a publication. From left to right:

1- camellia shot in the garden

2, 3, 4- in a small bronze vase; the first two shot from above

6, 7, 8- the camellia rests in a square glass dish

4, 6, 8- in front of a white cotton curtain (it was not a sheer)

2, 7- kitchen counter background

3, 9- black foamcore background

5, 9- both are cropped

 

Editing Photos in iPhone

Iphone_flower_pictures_how_to

Iphone_rose_photo

In our living room there is a picture window with two sets of curtains: both are white cotton, one sheer, the other opaque. In the first two shots, the garden is the background. (Would have been nice if I'd moved the wheel barrow and trash bin!) In the bottom shots, the sheer became the backdrop. In these four shots I was warming up to get something better, which happened in the next shot. But how did I get the exposure to lighten up so much? 

 

Iphone_focus_exposure_camera_feature

I used the iPhone exposure slider (oh I love it), it's that sun icon. Tap on the part of the flower you want in focus and a yellow square will appear, the square will focus the image. Now hold the camera still, put your finger on the sun and slide it up or down for more or less light. 

 

Finding the Background

Photography_backgrounds

I can easily go through several backgrounds to get the shot I like. On March 9, I had just a tiny bunch of blooms (middle shot). 

5- this is the first shot on a stone paver

3,4- still on the stone, but not so pretty

9- old table outside; no, too much going on

6, 8- metal garden chair outside; maybe 

1- black metal table inside; yeah

2, 7- kitchen counter; yep

 

Inside the iPhone's Photo Tools

Iphone_photo_ap

To use your iPhone's photo adjustment tools, take a look under one of your images; note the four blue icons. Click on the one above the X.

 

Photo-tools-3

Now click under the next X (by the way, the icon at left is the crop tool).

 

Iphone_photo_tools2

Next click on the down pointing arrow for 'Light' and a list will appear. I use the exposure tool first. Check each one out and know that you can always revert to your original, even days later.

 

Mixed_flowers_on-grass

 

 

Mixed_flowers_white_background

The two shots above are of a double bucket of goodies I took to the workshop, photographed in the garden right after they were harvested and inside the house on a piece of white foam-core.

 

Grandmothers_hat_rose

 

Close_up_pink_rose

At the workshop everyone especially enjoyed photographing Grandmother's Hat. In the first image the blooms, shot from above, hide the bucket, and the last one is a close-up without cropping.

A Few More Tips

  1. For a sharp image, look at your shots as you take them to make sure they are in focus.
  2. Always crop after you take the shot, expanding the picture while framing degrades the image.
  3. If you press your finger on the focus square it will lock in the focus, and you can still use the exposure slider.
  4. Some Android phones have exposure adjustments in the settings menu. 

It was fun putting this post together–I hope it was helpful. Let me know if you have questions. If you would like to have one-on-one instruction, I am available at an hourly rate.

Take lots of photos, experiment and have fun!

 

  


Great Red Roses

. . . but the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant . . . 

Red_rose_close_uup

A mere 110 million roses, mostly red, will be sold in the three day period surrounding Valentine's Day this month! Thanks to the ARS, I have the opportunity to share this post with their February newsletter about the great red roses growing in my garden. Hopefully these roses will inspire you.

My personal favorite is Oklahoma, not only for its rich red/black coloring, but at each stage of opening it's spectacular, from bud to full open bloom. The one above will have progressed in at least two more stages to finally reveal a cache of burnished gold stamens.

 

Oklahoma_red_rose

Since my garden is planted in color blocks, all the red roses reside in a rich harmony together. Oklahoma mingles here with Mr. Lincoln–both are tall Hybrid Teas that reach at least six feet.

 

Good_red_rose

Duet, a Floribunda, couldn't be more dependable and has been giving us her beautiful silver-backed blooms for more than twenty years!

 

Duet_red_rose

Duet shrubs are in the four foot range for height and width.

 

Falstaff_red_rose

David Austin reds are well represented with three spectacular beauties that are all excellent growers between five and six feet. That's Tradescant in the center with Falstaff above and The Prince below.

Chevy_heart

Red_roses_in_bucket_2

Chevy Chase is just plain fun to have in the garden and a real show stopper. Small blooms form bouquets on a stem that are easy to use in arranging. Try making a Chevy heart and take a phone shot to send next Valentine's day.

 

Red_rose_climber

Chevy Chase is a robust, once blooming climber that deer stay away from (it's pretty thorny) in my California garden. On the other side of the fence are the more tender reds, Duet especially, which before the deer fence installation was always first to get nipped.

 

Red_rose_bouquet

This mixed bouquet has a couple of light red Teas that are outstanding performers. Side by side, in front are Mme Antoine Rébé and Monsieur Tillier. Rébé is in the five to six foot range and Tillier is more like 8'x8', or even more with the right growing conditions. For more about these two take a look at this post.

 

Barcelona_red_rose 

Barcelona, also known as Frances Dubreuil, is from the 30's and is just plain charming–always blooming and it's coloring matches Oklahoma on a more light and airy shrub.

 

James_Mason_red_rose

Last but not least, the glorious Peter Beales Gallica James Mason.

 

Red_roses_garden

This is one of those roses I was wowed by at a show and just had to have, but of course couldn't find anywhere. Then one day I stood before it in a Sonoma county garden! Easy to propagate–just pull on a cane, and up comes roots and all. This is for the serious connoisseur who has room to spare, for it's a once bloomer that creeps all over the place. I wouldn't be without it though. 

 

To find out more about these roses, which I hope are tempting you, click on the links–they are all connected to the invaluable rose info site helpmefind.com. On each rose page at helpmefind there is a "buy from" tab for purchasing sources. Let me know what you think and tell us your favorite red rose. 

Chevy_heart

Happy Valentine's Day!

 

 


Harvesting Roses in Miriam Wilkins' Garden

 

Dorothy-perkins-rose

For five years after Miriam Wilkins' passing, we have had the privilege of harvesting roses in what remains of her garden. The property is a wild thing now with no care taken and the few roses that remain are the hardy species types that Miriam loved best in her later years. These pictures were taken last year, once again, on the Friday before the Celebration of Old Roses. You will see that amongst the ruin we still managed to gather spectacular things. This rose is Dorothy Perkins.

 

Species-rose-at-miriam-wilkins-garden

Species-rose-3

Wild-rose

First a nod to the species roses Miriam loved. 

 

Heritage-rose-at-Miriam-Wilkins'

This is a hardy European rose- if you think you know the name, let me know.

 

White-rose

Year after year, this rose thrills me. It is a monster though, huge, extremely thorny, but with the most compelling and photogenic blooms. I've taken many pictures of it and you will see it in the bouquet below. I've never seen a rose to compare with this one, and who knows, this may be the only one in existence.

 

To me, a garden of the heart would be a modest affair, whatever the true gardener who loves to work in the soil comes up with, not lavish estates. We are all limited in one way or another. Visitors to gardens must take this into account. That is why I never hesitate to let anyone see our rose collection. There must be something here to teach or please.

~Miriam Wilkins

 

 

Heritage-rose-bouquet

 

Magenta-rose

Miriam-wilkins-rose-bouquet

5-petal-rose

The harvestees are now ready to wow people at the Celebration.

 

Celebration-of-old-roses-bouquet

 

Celebration of Old Roses 2016

Sunday, May 15, from 11:00 am to 3:3o pm

Click here for more info.

 

 

Dorothy-perkins-rose-2

As we were harvesting, I noticed the steps and pots below Dorothy Perkins, and then realized Dorothy had demolished a pergola.

 

We bought our dream lot in 1944 when Dick returned from the South Pacific. It looked out at the Golden Gate, a mysterious sight when wreathed in fog. Five years later the house was built and we moved in with three children under five years. Soon we had a lawn with play equipment, and a badminton court. I was buying old roses from Roses of Yesterday and Today. They were planted in neat rows with paths between the plots. The lawn and everything went in 1952. Roses grew as roses will. I began to garden on my neighbors back forty. That was soon filled. Five years ago (2002), the two yards were well worth a visit, but it's been downhill every since. I do not encourage visitors but they may come if they care to.

~Miriam  Wilkins

 

The wonderful thing is that she always welcomed us and in that overgrown state there was wonderment! Miriam's garden has given its all again and again and here it's 2016. I hope to see you at the Celebration–there will be many wonderful roses for sale propagated especially for you!

 

I've done a number of posts about both Miriam and the Celebration and links to them are provided here.