Picture This Contest for May 2011

– Posted in: Garden Photography

I’m thrilled that Alan Detrick has returned as our judge for this month’s Picture This. Alan is a well known garden, nature and landscape photographer. He is the author and photographer of Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers and is the sole photographer for 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants, soon to be released and written by Ruth Rogers Clausen. Alan has lectured and led photography workshops for professional organizations and public gardens. In addition to owning a stock photography agency, he and his wife Linda provide photographic services for landscape architects and garden designers. You can see more of Alan’s outstanding work on his website.

Besides his outstanding credentials, Alan is also a gentleman. He has been extraordinarily generous and flexible in working with some scheduling and subject conflicts we’ve had these past few months at Picture This. The subject he has chosen this month is sure to challenge and excite you!  Fran Sorin

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth and you will know the key to photography.” George Eastman

Magnolia sprengeri Sprenger's Magnolia NJ Champion tree

Hopefully, April’s challenge made you aware of the importance of seeing and understanding light in your photography. This month we are going to take it a step further and challenge you to look at light in the macro or close-up world. Many of the concepts are the same but there are important differences.

In macro, as you get closer and closer to your subject, every detail is magnified. Tiny sparkles in a landscape scene can turn into blown out water spots in a close-up image. On the other hand, what does not work in a landscape scene might work as a close-up. The image of the green magnolia leaf was taken in very flat lighting. This lighting would not be suitable for a landscape but the contrast of the green and pink colors works well up close.

Adonis amurensis in snow

Study the light on your subject but don’t forget that light and shadow are partners. Shadows often act as a balance to bright areas. Look at the image of the yellow flowers in the snow to see how important the shadows are in making this a successful image.

When the sun gets too high for landscapes seek opportunities to use the hard bright lighting to your advantage. Shooting the light coming through the pink peony pictured shows off its translucent quality and creates interesting patterns of overlapping petals.

Morning Glory Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue'

One benefit to shooting close to the subject is the ability to modify the light with diffusers or reflectors. The white Hepatica cluster was standing in full sun when I captured the image shown here. I positioned a diffuser between the sun and the blossoms to soften the harsh light.

There is no set of rules when it comes to lighting. Each subject should be considered with the lighting conditions in order to produce the most visually pleasing image. Paying critical attention to the light is an essential element in creating that “magical” image.

Peony close up

Just as golfers have to learn to read the greens or a great fisherman needs to read the water, photographers need to learn to see the light. The subject choice is yours but make it a close up or macro image. If you don’t have macro equipment, get as close as you can. Look at your images carefully to make sure the lighting sets the mood. May’s contest is ‘Lighting: A Closer Look’.

5. ALD_110414-27

One last very important note, HAVE FUN !!!”


1.  You must have an active blog in order to participate. To be eligible for judging, you need to leave us TWO LINKS – a direct link to the image, and a link to your blog post that includes the image (and that says you are entering the Gardening Gone Wild Picture This Photo Contest )– in a comment on this post. Your links need to be correct in order for your photo to be entered into the contest. If need be, check out previous Picture This contests to see how others have done it.

2. You are allowed one entry per contest; your photo must be able to be copied from your site. That makes it possible for us to collect all the entries in one place for easier judging.

3. The long side of the image needs to minimally be 800 pixels

4. Because of the enormous amount of responses we receive, you can’t change your mind once you enter a photo into the contest.

5. The deadline for entries is 11:59 PM Eastern time on Tuesday, May 24, 2011.

Entries that meet the above rules will be added to a separate gallery page.  If you enter but your photo does not appear in the gallery  within 24 hours, please review your entry to make sure you followed the rules.

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at www.fransorin.com.

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Fran Sorin
48 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Tropical Nature Photos May 3, 2011, 2:46 am

Hi Fran, I’m so glad to see this new contest. I believe each time I participate, I learn a little. Thank you for the opportunity.

Here’s my blog : http://tropicalnaturephotos.blogspot.com/2011/05/happy-family.html

Here’s the photo: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Wy6O9HAo3ZI/Tb-sz96K2cI/AAAAAAAAEZU/4QGRZgDfaEA/s1600/IMG_2959.JPG

Grandma Betty May 3, 2011, 6:49 pm

I am new at this blog stuff. I got you link off of a friends blog. I absolutely love the artistic approach to taking pictures and learning about light. I just have a digital camera but I believe this would be great practice. Thank you for the education. Betty

Hi Betty,
Am glad that you’ve found us and are going to participate in The Picture This Contest. It will be a great way to learn and practice. Fran

GreenApples May 5, 2011, 7:56 am

Thank you for having the contest each month. Lighting is always a challenge. Here is the link to the post: http://greenapplesgarden.com/2011/05/05/ggw-macro-picture-this-magnolia-blooming/ and here is the image: http://greenapplesgarden.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/pinkmagnolia2.jpg

ESP May 6, 2011, 12:43 am

Here is my post:


And a direct link to the picture:

Looking forward to seeing the entries…great topic.

Pam/Digging May 6, 2011, 11:42 am
Alistair May 7, 2011, 10:24 am

Hi, I maybe was a bit too pleased with myself after purchasing my new camera. Here is the shot which I like.

Although my post is titled Bergenia, I have highlighted this Erythronium within it.


good luck everyone, Alistair

Angelyn May 9, 2011, 11:15 am

The blog entry highlights one of my favorite spring flowers:


Here’s the link to the photo:


Joy May 10, 2011, 5:59 am

Hello there !
This is my first contest to enter so I am the new kid on the block ? haha
This is my post http://canadiangardenjoy.blogspot.com/2011/05/ggw-picture-this-contest-for-may.html
and this is my picture link http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YVN5Ny3jxAs/TckXJ1SM-RI/AAAAAAAAQxg/uf1E4VE4_tg/s1600/May%2B09%2B11%2B009-1.JPG
… and yes ! good luck to everyone and lets have fun seeing all sorts of wonderful pictures : )

Cathy Chadwick May 11, 2011, 11:02 am

This is the first time I have entered this contest also, and I am not sure if I am doing it correctly… but here is the link to my photo entry, “Inside the Easter Lily”


We need the direct link to your photo but also the direct link to the post itself. Fran

Cathy Chadwick May 12, 2011, 6:31 am

I’ll try this again. (I’m seriously computer challenged).
Here is the link to the blog post:
And here is a link to the photo itself (I think)
I hope this works….

Judy May 14, 2011, 11:22 pm

I’m actually trying to use the manual settings on my camera now!

Here is my post:

And the link to my picture:

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens May 15, 2011, 5:54 am

My photo is of the buds of paperbush, Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Snow Cream’.

Post link: http://carolynsshadegardens.com/2011/05/15/may-gbbd-an-embarrassment-of-riches/.

Photo link: http://carolynsshadegardensdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/dscn2519.jpg.

Thank you,

Rebecca @ Rebecca's Retreat May 15, 2011, 7:22 pm

Hi–New to the blogging world and the photography world. Here’s the link to the post for my entry: http://rebeccasretreat.blogspot.com/2011/05/finally-rain-in-buda.html

Here’s the direct link to the photograph: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-STApD9KWWZQ/Tb89HOkUrDI/AAAAAAAAAHI/X0tBQUuVJyY/s1600/Passionflower+-+Rain+Closeup+2.JPG

Katina May 15, 2011, 9:28 pm
Donna@GWGT May 16, 2011, 1:14 pm

Thank you and good luck to all participants. There are some real beauties in this month’s contest.

Photo: http://orchardparkway.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/daffodilggw1.jpg

Blog post: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com/2011/05/15/gbbd-may-magazine/

marmee May 16, 2011, 5:55 pm

i like this months contest because i love taking close~ups. good luck everyone.

here is my post.

here is my entry.

JACK HOLLOWAY May 19, 2011, 10:36 am

Yet again I’ve enjoyed the process and learnt a lot from working on my entry. Thank you, Fran and all at GWW! Here is my entry:
and here is my blog post in which it appears:

Autumn Belle May 20, 2011, 1:37 am

This is the link to my post:

This is the link to my image:

This is my first time. Hope I get it all correct. Thank you very much for hosting and Good Luck to every participant!

One May 20, 2011, 8:08 am

I’ve finally made the decision to participate with my butterfly shot. I know my butterfly would love the beautiful flowers in the gallery.
Blog Link : http://onenezz.blogspot.com/2011/05/lighting-closer-look.html
Photo : http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PUVuL7Fpj_4/TdSqjZrRB9I/AAAAAAAAEfc/2TdNMm_PEKY/s1600/IMG_2413.JPG

Donna May 20, 2011, 4:56 pm

Here is the post:


And here is the link to the pic:


Happy to be entering this contest…thx!!

Marie May 20, 2011, 9:34 pm

Here is the link to my photo of Anemonella thalictroides in bright sunlight ( or is it Thalictrum thalictroides?) for this competition:


And to the post in which it appears:


Thank you for this opportunity…I really enjoyed last month’s pictures and winners.

Garden Sense May 20, 2011, 11:32 pm
dona May 21, 2011, 10:28 am

Hi there, I’m new!
Here’s the link to my post: http://dona-laterrazza.blogspot.com/2011/05/visti-da-vicino.html

And here’s the link to the photo:

Hope that everything’s ok…
Thank you for offering this chance!

Rosie@leavesnbloom May 22, 2011, 5:49 am

It’s been so long since I last entered your Picture This competition. I was too late for last months but I’m glad to see that my favourite was chosen as the winner.

You can view my post here

and the direct link to the image is here

HA / Cameragardening May 22, 2011, 2:56 pm

Thank you so much for arranging this contest, it’s so much fun!

This is a direct link to the image:

And this is a link to the blog post:
(I’ve got right click disabled, but the link above is to exactly the same picture)

I see I’m not the only one with a magnolia entry and the competition is fierce 🙂

But, my magnolia outshines every thing else in my garden right now, so it wasn’t an internal contest for me on what to enter!

AngryRedhead May 22, 2011, 4:44 pm
Liz May 23, 2011, 5:07 am
Craig @ Ellis Hollow May 23, 2011, 7:50 pm

Blog post is here: http://remarc.com/craig/?p=1260

Image is here: http://ellishollow.remarc.com/images/20110522canaiax2400.jpg

Thanks (as usual) for hosting.

Teresa May 23, 2011, 10:12 pm

Thanks for the challenge GGW and thanks for Judging Alan Detrick , there are some great photos entered here for sure.

Picture only:

Blog post:

Lazy Composter May 23, 2011, 11:25 pm

Here’s my entry:

Here’s the image I’m submitting in all its glory:

Terri Mc May 23, 2011, 11:30 pm

Here is my entry for May 2011’s contest.
I learn so much from doing this, thank you!

Blogpost: http://terristreasures.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/831/

Link to my photo: http://terristreasures.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/dsc_0015.jpg?w=300

John May 24, 2011, 10:55 am
Cathy May 24, 2011, 6:55 pm

I’m another novice who has learned so much by participating.

Here is a link to my blog post:


And here is a link to the photograph I chose:


As always, thanks so much for your helpful pointers and a great learning exercise!

Cathy W.

Diana May 24, 2011, 8:00 pm
Raji May 24, 2011, 10:00 pm
Heather's Garden May 24, 2011, 10:31 pm

This is so boring, but I’m entering the same photo that I did last month because I couldn’t come up with one that fit the theme better.

Image: http://heathersgarden.typepad.com/files/img_3801-resized.jpg

Post: http://heathersgarden.typepad.com/heathers_garden/2011/05/ggws-picture-this-photo-contest-lighting-a-closer-look.html

Terri McKee May 26, 2011, 1:29 am

For some reason my link photo is very small. Maybe this one will be show it better.

Image – http://terristreasures.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/dsc_0015.jpg

Blogpost – http://terristreasures.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/831/

Let me know if it works as it hasn’t for me on the above entry. Thanks

Your entry can’t be accepted. You’ve missed the deadline which was midnight on the 24th. Try again next month and get your entry in ASAP!! Best-Fran

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