Digital Garden Camera
First bloom of the climbing rose Westerland
The first weekend I had my new digital gardening camera was a gardening write-off. I clicked and zoomed, composed and cropped, as the weeds grew. I discovered hidden treasures sprouting in unlikely places, colours I'd never seen before, and many plants I couldn't identify, let alone remember introducing to the garden.
I snapped leaf forms, ripples on the water and grass blades, every first rose bloom in close-up, and several irises normally lost in the growth spurts of their neighbours. I pointed the camera at the light. I pointed it away from the light. I took pictures on glaring sunshine days and dull grey days.
What to do with this incredible oversized record of one day in the garden? I realised quickly that I am as greedy a photographer as I am a gardener. I need to see and experience every little change, every new colour arrival - and I need to record faithfully every detail.
No Need to Wait!
This camera doesn't run out of anything, nor do I have to wait days for the results. My catalogues of every rhododendron in flower and every first rose blooming in the last week of October are impressive.
In pre-digital days I was never a successful garden photographer. My older photos used to perplex me. When the garden was looking awful and scruffy, somehow the images looked quite the opposite. And whenever I was awed by some tableau of beauty and clicked in excitement, the result was disappointing.
I'd given up trying to capture the clear red flowers on the first rhododendrons - the prints were never the right shade. And I was forever lying in the grass, trying to capture the never-ending space and distance relationships of cats, and getting stuck there (older ladies will identify with this problem).
Stumpy in the grass
Animals would always move just as I'd got them in focus. And the cute facial expressions of cats were impossible to capture. But, of course, in those pre-digital days I wasn't a well-focussed, uber-lensed person. I had a little black point and click camera. Cheap as chips. No wonder the pictures weren't quite good enough.
Jerome on a tree stump
Thousands of Cat Photos!
Now I can take tens, hundreds (even thousands?) of photographs of the model cat, then choose exactly the pose and expression I'm looking for. There's safety in numbers, that's for sure.
I love the immediate rewards of the digital camera. The beauty of an outside border is instantly transferred to a lasting pictorial record, which I can gaze at later that day. But what to do with these heart-warming gardening records? Someone who loses plant labels, who always gets seedlings mixed up, and who forgets the contents of mail orders does not sound like a good cataloguer and filer of thousands of photographs. I could end up living all my garden dreams gazing at static images of beauty, while the rather more upwardly mobile weeds are left to grow in peace.
I must take some photos of the roses before the sun gets too hot...