August’s Picture This Photo Contest continues our tradition of having extremely talented photographers as judges. We’re delighted that David Perry is our judge for this last full month of summer. Any of us in the gardening world who are familiar with David’s work know what an extraordinary talent he is: with a wide range of subject matter. For those of you who don’t know David, this is an opportunity to familiarize yourself with him and his work. David also has a thoughtful and multi-layered blog.
This month’s prize from High Country Gardens is a selection of late summer-blooming perennials. And what could be better than these plants to liven up the late summer border? As usual, David Salman has hand-picked all the plants for Picture This. We love having him involved with GGW and participating in the contest.
Below is David Perry’s choice of subject matter for this month, along with a detailed explanation of why he chose this one, as well as what he’s looking for in the winning entry.
Watch any great preschool teacher and you will see someone who spends much of the day on her/his knees. Kids don’t respond well to adults that tower over them and talk down to them. They respond to grown-ups who are willing to come down to their level, meet them eye-to-eye. And strangely enough, the world down there at kid level looks vastly different from the grown-up world above. You want to understand kids and get along with them, you need to get down there where they can relate to you. It’s like that with a garden too. Too many of us take the majority of our pictures from standing height, which really limits both our visual understanding of a garden and the sense of intimacy we can capture.
The problem is, our photographic possibilities are vastly limited way up there, in much the same way that one’s strawberry picking possibilities would be limited. You want the best berries, you’ve gotta get down near the ground, look beneath the leaves, resign yourself to muddy knees.
So, this month, I’m asking you to ‘get down on your knees’ . . . or down on your belly, and show me some essential aspect of a garden that simply cannot be appreciated from standing eye level. The point of this contest is to encourage you to look and see from less expected perspectives, to do more than bulls-eye your photographic subjects while standing safely at the edge of things. I want to see pictures that take me into the depths of a garden, that record the play of light and shadow while looking upward, or straight across.
Your pictures can be of nearly any garden subjects, but I really want photographs that allow me to see plants, flowers, insects, plant-pairings, or textures in ways that are fresh and unexpected. The images should be about seeing first and the garden subjects second. They need to evoke mood, and elicit some sort of emotional, poetic, or “Oh my goodness!” response. Which means that they will strive toward the intimate, as opposed to being just one more variation on a shot we’ve all seen a couple of hundred times before.
And, I’d really encourage you to shoot for this one, rather than looking through your files to see what you might already have on file. Go on. The world is teeming with life and energy just now. Get down on your knees and show us something we haven’t seen in quite the same way before.”
For those of you who are new to Picture This or just need a reminder on how it works, here’s the drill:
1. You’re allowed to submit one (1) photograph: add the photo to your blog or website and then link it back to August’s Picture This post. Any photos sent to one of our e-mail addresses or from your e-mail address will be excluded. Also, I know it’s difficult to choose your favorite photo but please don’t send in more than one entry.
2. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, August 22nd. Again, we won’t be accepting any entries after that time, no exceptions.
3. As always, please have fun when taking photos! With this month’s subject matter, my hunch is that most of you are going to be getting down on all fours or crouching in some hidden places to snap some images. Picture This was created so that all of you have a place where you can share photographs and hopefully learn more about photography and how to hone some of your skills. Each month, more and more of you are participating in the contest: and we love it. Keep it up!
One final note: GGW’s Picture This now has its own page on Facebook. Check out the Picture This page and become a fan!