April 18, 2011

Painting With Light

The quality of light in a garden is one of its most endearing aspects.  Whether it be dappled light filtering through a canopy of  large Live Oaks, the soft, illuminating glow of sunrise, or a splash of richly hued twilight, it never fails to entice me out into the garden with camera in hand.   The light beckons me to come in and stay a while, to take pleasure in the gift of quiet contemplation and discovery.

A recent Friday evening found me in the garden of a dear friend for happy hour and the light was illuminating her garden beautifully. 
 
This lantern sits on a rock ledge under the dappled light of a Japanese Maple.  She has planted Foxtail ferns and hydrangea in the bed along with the maple.  Another hydrangea is planted on the other side of the wall.  
 
 



Her white and purple Bearded Iris were in full bloom and caught the last bit of slanting light in their petals.  They eagerly soaked it in and as I looked through the view finder my heart was so joyful.  I quickly showed her the photograph on the screen and we both reveled in the extravagant grandeur of a simple flower.


A nicely chilled bottle of wine was the perfect way for old friends to enjoy the waning light of the day.  Lots of laughter, superb wine and a luminescent garden...the perfect end to a long week.


In my own garden this week the light has been most fascinating as it plays with the wisps of Mexican Feather grass. 







We've had high winds these past few days and the feather grass dances on the breeze and playfully tangles with the daylilies.




Gardening Gone Wild is hosting the Picture This Photo Contest this month and the topic is "Let's Talk About Light."  Rob Cardillo is judging and he completely captures the imagination as he talks about the quality of light and how garden photographers can interpret mood and feeling by using light in their photographs.   Visit Gardening Gone Wild and discover how to become a better light painter.  His post is not only very helpful but you'll get to enjoy his inspiring photography as well.



The purple Bearded Iris is my entry for the Picture This Photo Contest. 


28 comments:

  1. Stunning photos but I really like the ones of the grass. Charmaine

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great choice for your entry -- it's beautiful and captivating...

    The right time of day with the right lighting can make all the difference in a garden photo, and turn a so-so image magical.

    (I'm not saying any of your images are so-so.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Mexican Feather grass is wonderful! Enjoyed your photos immensely! L

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cat....ART... is what comes to mind looking at your light photos, Beautiful... Lovely... Gorgeous... also come to mind. I need to check out Mexican Feather Grass and see if its hardy up here, its so soft and wispy. Good luck in the contest.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Light is one of the elements of photographing my garden that I have struggled with. And it's one of the things you do best... your photos are always well composed and beautifully shot, but it's the multiple ways you play with light.... (your Jan. 26 Wordless post was one of my favorites)

    This month's contest will be so interesting! Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoyed your post. You are so right about light in the garden. I realized recently, that more than anything else when I take photographs of nature, I'm photographing the magic of light.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such beautiful play of lights and photography! I love those macro shots of Bearded irises and your dancing Mexican Feather grass. Good luck in the contest!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Charmaine. It was hard for me to decide which photo to submit but finally landed on the iris...the movement of the grass was hard to pass up though ;)

    @Alan and Larry, Thanks!

    Fawne, thank you! The Mexican feather grass is a nice structural plant throughout the year but in this spring/summer it is full of movement and one of my favorites! I hope you can find it. It's nice in a container too.

    Thank you Laurrie. Playing with light has always been of interest to me and it's the reason I worked in stained glass. Sometimes photography takes me back to those memories as light filters through the petals of flowers. It has the same effect on the petals as it does on glass.

    Hi Sheila, so true, we are absolutely photographing the magic of light! Thanks for stopping by.

    Thank you so much p3chandan!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Laurrie, I had to go back and see what the Jan 26 photo was...that is one of my favorites as well. It's the first photograph that I have taken that I actually want to print and hang in my home. Haven't done it yet...too little time!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Stunning photos Cat! and there's the lovely Mexican feather grass again ...

    ReplyDelete
  11. They are all beautiful images. Excellent selection for the contest. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great entry, Cat

    Thanks for sharing all of these pretties from a nice afternoon with your friend. The golden hour is magic.

    Thanks, Julie

    ReplyDelete
  13. Cat, anyone who understands photography knows that light is critcal in photos as well as capturing the correct exposure. You have a wonderful talent of seeing that and capturing it. It's so great to hear that you have friends that love spending time together and appreciate nature. Your evening sounded perfect. Simplicity at its best!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cat, I have become convinced that good lighting is everything in photography. Your photographs make the case perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You're so right - light makes such a difference. It's hard for me to remember this at midday when I'm free to take pictures, but the light is too harsh. As always, beautiful pictures. Good luck in the contest.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Suddenly I'm craving a tall glass of chilled wine, that's some photography power! Love how you've captured the movement of the grass in your photos. You've got such a talent taking pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Any of your photos would be deserving of a GGW win! Good luck on the contest.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Not for me the bright lights of the city - what could beat a walk through the garden just outside your door, camera in hand ! Spectacular photos Cat; I think you have a winner with that iris ! (and it'll be another 5 weeks before we get to enjoy our irises).

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love the photos of the grasses, Cat. So wispy and beautiful. You have such an eye for capturing photographs with the perfect light at the perfect moment. I like morning light best. Maybe that's because I'm a morning person :) Good luck in the contest! I think you've got a winner with the iris.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Cat girl this is simply gorgeous !
    I have a little cast iron lantern very similar to yours .. the light is perfectly "painting" it : )
    I feel the same way about light values .. I capture morning light more often because I am a morning person .. but twilight has such a special quality that it fascinates me. Take one scene in the garden and shoot it at different times of the day to dusk and see things you didn't see before : )
    Joy

    ReplyDelete
  21. What lovely and breathtaking photos! Your examination of light is a good one...light makes such a difference in how we see things or how they appear.

    ReplyDelete
  22. So beautiful Cat. The iris photo is stunning, but I have to admit that my favourites are the ones of the grasses. They make me want to stroke my screen...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Cat, the right light can and will make all the difference - in photography as well as in gardening.

    It's always a pleasure to come back here and see all the beautiful pictures taken by you.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Is that white flower a Iris anyway it is amazing picture and and I love the grass shots, they seem so soft and glowing I want to reach out and touch them. Really wonderful shots:)

    ReplyDelete
  25. All your photos are lovely! I especially loved the grass and how the sun played on the texture. Good luck in the contest!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Cat, understanding light is one of the most important things for both a gardener and photographer. You master both! Such beautiful pictures. I bet you win this months' GGW photo contest!

    ReplyDelete
  27. your entry really does look like a painting. beautiful!! you have a great talent!

    ReplyDelete

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

Thanks for taking the time to visit!