Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Digital cameras, including SLRs (meaning single-lens reflex cameras), point-and-shoot models and even the one you carry all the time--your smart phone--make it easy. It isn’t so much the camera you use, but your personal approach to your subject that makes the photo. My subject is the garden.
Don’t be afraid to take a class. Just do it. I’ve attended workshops online and at seminars, and I learn something new in each one. I want to thank the professional photographers, both online and in person. Through their excellent webinars, websites and blogs, they’ve shared their craft and expertise. When I bought my cameras, a small point and shoot, and later, a digital SLR, I also enrolled in classes offered by the camera store to familiarize myself with my new tools.
If you’re going to invest in a camera, buy it from your local camera store. My youngest daughter wants to become a movie director, and it’s no passing fascination. She knows how to edit video and soundtracks with plenty of self-taught expertise. I encourage her love of movies, photography and music. Even if she chooses a different career, the education she receives now will be priceless. Recently, she was searching the Internet for video cameras. She’d saved her money to buy one, and she was thinking of buying it online. I persuaded her to consult the experts, and I drove her to our local camera store during the slow part of their day. The assistant manager listened to her and explained that most video footage is now being shot on digital SLRs instead of traditional video cameras unless she plans to shoot continuously with no cuts. He said the television show, House, and the movie, The Hobbit, were both shot on SLRs. She ended up buying an entry level Sony DSLR, and she now takes still shots along with video footage. This is a photo she took of her favorite shoes, and she did all the editing including the coloration with the camera’s internal, editing functions.
So, my second tip is to talk to local experts before investing in camera equipment. You’ll end up saving time and money. Here are nine more tips I regularly follow in my own work:
1. Use the Rule of Thirds. I learned this in art class, but it also applies to photos. Many photo editing software applications have an optional grid system to place onto your photos while cropping. Placing your subject along one of the grid lines instead of centering it in the frame gives it substance and says, “Look here.”
2. Fill your frame. With my larger camera I use my view finder as a frame to compose my pictures. With my small point and shoot, I use the LCD screen and attempt to fill it with what I see. I think you can take a wonderful photo with any type of camera, even your phone, but it is easier to see through a view finder than an LCD screen in sunlight. You can shade your screen with a garden hat or a device like Popabrella.
3. Know your story. When you go into a garden, take some time to look it over and listen to your inner voice. Each garden, person or place has its own story, and you’re just the person to tell it.
4. Look for the light. Early morning and evening before sunset are the two best times of day for outdoor photography, but they only come twice a day. By looking for the sun’s placement in the sky, you can use it to highlight leaves, or to look through flower petals. You can also use the same shading trick, above, to help limit how much light comes into your camera lens.
5. Get down. Don’t take all of your photos in a standing position. Kneel or sit on the ground. Lie next to a plant. Try to get the bird’s eye or even bug’s eye view.
6. Groom the garden. In your own garden, remove any obvious weeds or obstructions from your subject matter, but don’t go crazy and try to groom the entire thing beforehand. In the photo below, I weeded the most obvious green from the path, and although the HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container looks great, I probably wouldn’t leave it in view unless I were writing about it specifically, or my subject was weeding.
7. Be patient. If you’re trying to take a close-up of a butterfly or other garden creature, it takes time. Sit quietly next to their favorite nectar source and wait. Snap as many shots as possible. No longer are we tethered to film, and sometimes, we forget it.
8. Put people in your shots, but don’t pose them. Take photos of gardeners doing normal tasks. If you want to publish these photos online or in print, remember to get your subject’s permission in writing first.
9. Use good editing software. First, it’s fun. You can apply layers to photos that make them appear grungy, vintage, or anything in between. There are also times that no matter how good a photograph is, it needs polish.
Whether you’re shooting photos for work or play, with practice you can take your best photos yet. That’s what makes photography and gardening fun. Every day is a whole different picture. Go ahead and take one.