Botanical Art

A favorite place of mine to visit is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I’ve been there at least once a year for the past several years. After viewing what I actually had captured from all of those visits, I was rather disappointed.

It was time for me to really work on creating some Botanical Art captures. Those that are closer in composition and demonstrate an awareness of an element of the plants with their lines, structures and textures. This weekend I am teaching a Botanical Art class at the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland and I wanted to go and practice what I preach before Saturday.

I had been there twice before and somehow missed the hallway that lead to the orchid and palm room. It had snowed the night before and my friend and I had the conservatory completely to ourselves. Being able to place our tripods where we needed it without having to worry about other visitors was sublime.

The Palm room was truly amazing and I could study the textures and patterns in that room for hours. Many people think a Macro lens is what you need to create art, but actually a telephoto lens can help you reach areas that you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to with a fixed prime Macro lens.

I have a personal addiction to ferns and palms and could photograph them and never get bored. They lend themselves nicely to creative post-processing.

The images I brought home allowed me to pull out all of the tools I use in the Digital Darkroom. Lightroom Presets, Textures in Photoshop, creative edits in Topaz Studio and even used Color Efex Pro in the Nik Collection. I’ll be offering a Digital Art Room class in February where you can learn the techniques I use to really bring some of these images to life.

We spent quite some time inside the Conservatory, so much so that I literally forgot it was 27 degrees outside with an inch of snow until we left the building to return to reality.

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