Last Wednesday was the first day of summer here in Canada and I finally made time to wander our garden for my monthly photo session with the flowers growing there.
I had photographed the garden in May and although there were some early blooming roses and tulips, not much was going on. However, since then the cool spring days here in the interior of British Columbia lengthened and warmed and the summer heat is coming. Everything was in bloom and waiting for my first-days-of-summer photographic expedition.
The sky clear with a slight breeze as I walked around in the cool morning. It was comfortable, but neither worked for me. I was hoping for some clouds and didn’t like the breeze at all, so I waited.
About 2pm slight clouds started gathering and the breeze quieted. I attached a flash on a lightstand, mounted my 70-180mm macro on my camera and started searching the garden.
It doesn’t matter if I am photographing a person or a flower, I like to use an off-camera flash. Sure there is nice natural light once in a while, but it is so much easier to control the light with a flash then to hope and wait for the sun to be just right. Normally I like using an umbrella, but there was that intermittent breeze that didn’t bother my waiting subjects too much, but the tiny gusts could easily blow my flash over with the large umbrella, so I left the umbrella on the porch and instead employed the diffuser that came with the flash.
A flash lets me control the ambient light using the shutter speed and I stop down my aperture to disguise background distraction by under exposing or open up the aperture to reduce depth of field.
I thought about getting in the car and driving over to the pond to check out the geese, or maybe make an attempt at photographing a nearby waterfall that I am sure was loudly crashing into Chase creek. Those are more exciting subjects than flowers, but I promised myself I’d get a good record of the flowers this year. Anyway the afternoon garden and the surrounding neighbourhood was quiet, the plants were patiently waiting, and I was too lazy to go for a drive.
Summer is here and the flower’s bloom won’t last long. The mountains around here have ticks, snakes, and maybe hungry bears (well, probably not hungry bears and I haven’t seen a rattler in years). The water is to high to get good shots of the waterfalls and anyway if one waits another week I expect there will be plenty to photograph on Canada day. So for now I suggest one more leisurely and safe foray, with camera and flash, into the garden before summer’s heat takes the bloom’n colour away.