Smell the Roses, Then Shoot Them

It’s no secret that I read a lot of books in an attempt to enhance my skill as a photographer. Many of these have been written by Harold Davis, one of my favorite authors on things photographic. His latest volume, Creative Garden Photography, is one of his best, if not in fact the very best one he’s written.

The book covers a wide range of subjects related to garden photography, including:

  • The types and sizes of gardens, many of which he’s visited and photographed worldwide.
  • The practice of photographing flowers in gardens using a variety of techniques to achieve stunning effects.
  • Studio photography of flowers, including lightbox photography.

As he does in all his books, Davis shares his photographic and post-processing methods in enough detail that they can be replicated by the reader.

This book is filled with photographs that are not only beautiful but also inspiring and educational. For each, he carefully details how and where the image was produced, both in the camera and the digital darkroom. But though the photographs provide valuable information for photographers, non-photographers will also find this beautiful and informative book worthy of a serious perusal.

In crafting this book, Davis is generous, both in the volume of ideas he presents and in his spirit of sharing his knowledge.  As a result, it is replete with techniques and inspiration that will stimulate my photography for a long time to come. I’ve already begun to implement some of his ideas, especially lightbox photography, and I have plans to do more.

Even if flower photography is not your interest, this book contains many ideas that can be applied to other subject matter. For that reason, this book makes an important contribution to the photographic technical literature. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Published by Norman Reid

I worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 27 years in the field of rural community and economic development. I retired a few years ago and have been devoting my time to photography and writing. I've been a semi-pro photographer for more than 25 years and sell my work on the Web. I live in rural Virginia not far from the Shenandoah Valley.

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