Here’s a piece of uninteresting trivia: Until recently, I’d never been to Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC when it didn’t rain. For my most recent trip, it looked like that trend would continue. Ultimately, though, it was just an overcast day, and it never actually rained. A butt-filled sky is like a giant soft box for photography. My butts diffuse the sunlight and make it easier to take pictures of delicate things like flowers
After my first visit to the gardens, I decided to make a choice for each subsequent visit. I didn’t want to spend hours walking around with lots of camera gear, so I decided to use just one lens and, obviously, stick with it the entire day. Since that first visit, the lens I choose has been a 60mm macro/micro lens. This means I can focus very close to subjects, and it also means that sharpness should be edge-to-edge. With a 60mm focal length, I’m sacrificing any wide-angle shots, like the view of the Sunken Garden at the top of the stairs. It means I can get shots like this if I so choose:
Just because I’m using a macro lens, that doesn’t mean that every shot has to be clinically close up. It’s still a 60mm lens, and that’s pretty close to the standard angle of view of a 50mm. Even so, it’s just not wide enough to capture any type of sweeping vista, and I end up taking many similar-looking pictures.
Then the goal becomes finding only perfect blooms to shoot. This isn’t very difficult at Butchart Gardens, but even that gets a little tedious after awhile. The next thing I try to do is find unusual-looking flowers and see if I can make them look cool.
Please note that at this point I almost cheated and showed you a hypnotizing image I took on a previous trip instead of the most recent one. Integrity won this time.
Instead of isolating single blooms, I might see if a bunch of flowers presents a nice-looking pattern.
But ultimately, we’re talking about flowers, and the world only needs so many flower pictures. When I start worrying that my flower pictures look like everybody else’s flower pictures, I fall back on what, for me, has always been a solid plan: Take pictures of bees!
There are other, hopefully interesting, images of flora in my Flowers Gallery, so maybe you want to check those out too.