Photography As A Tool For Better Garden Design
I read a story about a well-respected landscape photographer, who said he always knew a garden was really well designed if it was easy to photograph. He learned so much through taking photographs of gardens he ended up becoming a well-respected landscape designer as well as a great photographer.
Here's a good example from my own garden which I think illustrates his point. The following picture shows the entry area. It's a small, walled-in section leading to the front door. Unfortunately, what you see when you walk in is the roof of the neighboring house:
This area is full of Austin roses, and it looks fabulous a lot of the time, but I never get a good photograph of it because I can't get the neighbor's roof out of the frame. Not only is there an unimpeded view of that lovely roof, but the original landscape architect (not I!) saw fit to create a frame for it with the big lantern-topped columns in the wall.
And she wondered why I didn't like her work.
Using the magic of Microsoft Paint, I removed the roof. Better? I think so. The untouched photograph puts a roof between you and the distant hills. Without the roof, it gives the area a greater sense of spaciousness.
Of course, I could use Paint or Photoshop to make the photographs look better. But what I want is for the garden to look better. And while I knew something was wrong in this area, it was the many attempts to get a good picture that showed me exactly what was wrong and what I needed to improve. I'm planning a hedge, just tall enough to screen out that roof.
So, go outside and take some pictures, and see what you can see!