Monday, April 25, 2011

The Camera In Gardening

L.H. Bailey, Apple-Jonathan, ca. 1901
 The best preparation for gardening is to go afield and see the things that grow there. Take photographs in order to focus your attention on specific objects, to concentrate your observation, to train your artistic sense. An ardent admirer of nature once told me that he never knew nature until he purchased a camera. If you have a camera, stop taking pictures of your friends and the making of mere souvenirs, and try the photographing of plants and animals and small landscapes. Notice that the ground glass of your camera concentrates and limits your landscape. The border-pieces frame it. Always see how your picture looks on the ground glass before you make your exposure. Move your camera until you have an artistic composition—one that will have a pictorial or picturesque character. Avoid snap-shots for such work as this. Take your time. At the end of a year, tell me if you are not a nature-lover. If to-day you care for only pinks and roses and other prim flowers, next year you will admire also the weedy tangles, the spray of wild convolvulus on the old fence, the winter stalks of the sunflower, the dripping water-trough by the roadside, the abandoned bird's-nest, and the pose of the grasshopper. L.H. Bailey, 1900

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