I absolutely love the sense of discovery that comes with exploring a garden with a camera. I have learned to take it slow, to relish and be watchful, as every step changes how I see. Every step could be a new picture. Every step changes how the elements compose themselves.
So a recent visit to see gardens designed by Larry Weiner was an exhilarating experience. I have admired his work making meadows for years, and still regret I did not know him when I did The American Meadow Garden. But now I was totally primed to see when I met him in Lakeville, Connecticut to visit a couple of mature, thriving meadows.
I have never photographed gardens in Connecticut. My eyes went into high alert. Whenever I travel, and get out of the “routine” of working in California, everything seems fresh and I get particularly energized.
Gardens in the East are SO different. It rains in the summer. Wow. Everything is green. The native perennial wildflowers burst into bloom with no effort.
There are extensive meadows around this home on the lake and I waited until the last hour of daylight to explore the lakeside meadow, as I wanted to include the very reflective lake in the photos and needed the light to be very soft.
Follow along on my shoot, as the photos unfold.
I see chairs.
Chairs are a great focal points in any garden, but in a meadow garden, which often has no hardscape or formal design, any sort of structure offers opportunities. I explored the little garden room, created by simply mowing.
But the stronger photo is looking over the flowers, past the chairs to the lake.
And turning my back on the lake the same flowers offer an entirely different view from almost the exact same spot. So many possibilities. Everything is so different from summer-dry California.
Now to explore the strip of meadow that buffers the lake. Using a tree to frame the composition, I am able to get a point of view that creates a sense of a true meadow, those that often exist as clearings in the woods.
But this is lakeside meadow, and I am beginning to see an extraordinary opportunity to create a photo that uses the lake as a background.
One idea is to use the dock as a background, evoking a leisurely summer scene.
But what I really wanted to work with was using the lake as a pure background to the strip of flowers and grasses which stood up in front of it.
What fun. I see some calendar images for some lucky publisher.