Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Open Gardens ... an abundance of inspiration.

During the summer months the "Gardens of the Golden City" (being Johannesburg, for those who are not familiar) host a number of open gardens. First off these are generally privately owned, managed and run and the organisation spends time well beforehand recruiting brave new souls to show off their wonderful gardens. I love these outings for many reasons ....

1. I am out in the open (sun, fresh air)

2. I am walking around (exercise)

3. I'm working my camera (and then some, poor thing). For me it's a veritable feast in terms of creativity and inspiration. Each garden has it's own unique look and feel: whether it's the plant selection, the layout, the details, the large trees, the expanse of lawn, an amazing water feature, the art, the home, or a combination of those and many more. If you are not inspired by "something" in each garden, then you must be half dead, truly, there is so much to enjoy!

4. At least one of the gardens (per weekend) runs a "tea garden" (funds of which go towards charity), so you can drink tea, eat scones (or other delicacies), relax or chat in the verdant splendour of someone else's garden .....

5. And of course, I love that this is all done by highly committed volunteers who make this possible each spring and summer and that the funds raised go towards a good cause (normally a pre determined charity).

To me these "events" are always worth the while in terms of time, effort and money, not least in terms of what I personally gain in creative inspiration!!

These pictures are but some of the many of one of the gardens visited this past weekend .....

For more info on this organisation and forthcoming open gardens, click here and go to tab : Current Season


Cherry said...

Gena...are u still keeping the make of your camera a guarded secret :))
Your shots are simply not sure if you work on all the parameters in the camera setup or are these all auto focus shots....I wish I took some tips from you soon...the first and last pictures are the pick of the amazing ones...the part of the tree in these shots makes all the difference...

Gena said...

Hi Roy ..... thanks for the feedback, constructive as always.

I am currently using (most of the time) a Canon SX10, it has a wonderful zoom, image stability and is compact. You can use Autofocus and other parameters too - it's been available for about a year now, and there is a slightly newer model with a few enhancements. The reality is I love Canon as the picture colour and quality is consistently good.

My photography is really quite spontaneous (so I try to have a camera with me at all times) i.e. as I see something, as my eye catches something , I capture it....... a lot of the time it's on auto focus, some times (if there is time, I play with other parameters) .... I'm still going on course to learn how to optimally use this camera)...... I do, however, work from the philosophy of taking the best picture there and then i.e. no or very little image altering in photoshop (it has it's place, but I avoid it (unless I want a specific technique!) so I tend to take 3 to more pictures to ensure that out of that lot I get at least 1 perfect shot. ..... My plan is to master this camera and then upgrade to a larger,Canon model in time.

so there you have it.

have a great weekend
PS> If you want to see more pics, take a look at Thinking Aloud also.

Cherry said...

Thanks Gena...keep up the good photography...appreciate your spontaneous approach...

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