Straight photos of gardens sometimes frustrate me. For a couple years now I have been grappling with my changed eyesight and exploring ways to show what I see. Perhaps because of those explorations I find I am less interested in, even distracted by, the detail of a straight photo.
Gary Ratway, of Digging Dog Nursery, has an amazing plant palette and his perennial borders are masterpieces of color and texture. They are meant to be strolled and contemplated. You stop and wonder about the combinations. You can’t possibly process all the details at once. You get impressions and make observations, such as who could possibly see this orange poker plant from the bench at the end of the border ?
Well, of course you can’t. You are not expected to. This orange wonderful detail, paired with the deep blue Salvia superba, is a hidden gem. Yet when I took the straight photo, I could not help but see the dominant white Verbascum and other Salvia lining the path leading to the bench. The straight photo subtly implies one can sit in the bench to contemplate the whole border.
It is a very nice scene and fine garden photograph, but it doesn’t say what I was thinking. I was amazed how the one orange poker plant, hidden really; deep in the border carried such weight. We have to look hard to get these insights sometimes, and once found I felt it was lost in the straight photo. So, another excuse to explore the tools of photoshop; eyesight improved – in new ways.