Favorite Photos 2014

PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workbook, Camera and Computer eBook Cover
My favorite photo of the year became a book cover.

Gardening Gone Wild is bringing back the Picture This photo contest and since I am the judge I may as well follow up my own advice: “… a chance to look back at a whole year of photos and get your files organized.”

I have huge backlogs of photos that I barely know I have.  On my assignments it’s easy, even mandatory to organize my files.  I process them and put them in my catalog with all sorts of metadata for easy searching as soon as absolutely possible so that I can deliver them to my clients.

But I also have lots and lots of personal work, in my own garden, or gardens I visit on my own time.  I keep a clipboard and log by my computer to keep track of what I have shot and where they are in the computer, but all too often, the photos are not seen for months, even years.  Sometime I will cherry-pick one image for a Facebook post, or to send to the garden owner, or quickly file in my database, but I am embarrassed to say I have photos from my first days with the digital camera that I have never processed.

To prove my point, I just picked, quite by random, this Leucospermum photo from a 2008 trip to Leaning Pine Arboretum to photograph grasses.

Leucospermum tottum ‘Scarlet Ribbon’, Scarlet ribbon Pincushion shrub

Now I am feeling overwhelmed with the backlog of work.  Work I might have been able to license if I had it ready to go.

Well, the good news is I spent my time working on photos that I knew did have a client, and other photos from that Leaning Pine shoot ended up in The American Meadow Garden.  So how about 2014 ?  What were my favorites?

New pansies at California Spring Trials

A big reason this was on of my favorites is how well it turned out from multiple exposures using my telephoto lens and successive focal points.

Stacking multiple frames for depth of field
Stacking multiple frames for depth of field

I use the same technique of stacking multiple frame on these crocus to get deep focus.

Spring crocus in my garden

Lots of great native plant gardens

California native plant gardens; Lepechinia fragrans, Fragrant Pitcher Plant

A trip to New Mexico

David Salman’s garden in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Display for container pots – Elspeth Bobb’s garden, New Mexico

My daughter, Annie got married in June, so her photographer Dad made a story once she discovered the amazing Lisa Ziegler’s local grown flower farm, Gardener’s Workshop, in Virginia.  And Lisa was just about to publish her book – Cool Flowers.

Annie's wedding day
Annie’s wedding day



Annie preparing wedding bouquets
Bouquets for Annie’s wedding









A fall visit to Portland, Oregon to give a presentation to the Garden Club found me in some wonderful gardens.

Euonymus europaeus berries in Platt Garden
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina), Hoyt Arboretum

Even a family reunion in Maui had garden photos.

Plumeria storm damage - Maui
Plumeria storm damage – Maui


I spent lots of time learning the “extraction” process, where I do a PhotoBotanic illustration extracting a key component from a garden scene to illustrate the plant in situ.

Flowering branch of California native shrub, Arctostaphylos manzanita 'Monica'
Arctostaphylos manzanita ‘Monica’



Ribes sanguineum - California currant
Ribes sanguineum – California currant

One of the reasons I have started self-publishing my own books is so that I can use my favorite photos and go to interesting gardens that might otherwise not get published.  I can always use self publishing as the excuse to photograph what I think is important.

And I can seek my art in my own store.

So, how did I narrow down a whole year o shooting to just these photos ?  I ran out of time.  Only much one can do in a blog post … 🙂


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