So you have trees, shrubs, or flowers in your garden that seem exceptional this season, and you think their beauty is a photograph worth sharing.
How do you get that perfect garden photograph? Nancy Gassaway, a Muskogee Master Gardener, recently shared her photo expertise with local Garden Club members.
“I love taking nature photos — flowers, butterflies, even critters in the garden. I love the beauty of flowers,” she said, showing photographs she had posed in area gardens, as well as around the world.
Presenting a colorful and impressive video, Gassaway also mentioned her awards from the Muskogee photography clubs. Her nature photos are on view at Three Rivers Museum and Honor Heights Papilion. Some of her photos have been published in the Muskogee Phoenix, Outdoor Oklahoma magazine and shown in the promotion of the Outdoor Oklahoma television show.
“That was a pleasant surprise,” she said.
All were accolades and honors confirming Gassaway knows exactly how to capture nature’s stellar specimens on film — and when to push her camera’s shutter.
For Garden Club members, she offered six major nature photography tips as well as ideas for photographing a garden.
“There are many tips,” Gassaway noted, but in the interest of time and brevity, she offered the most essential for any photographer.
• Have a keen eye for detail. Ask yourself, “Does this photo tell a story?”
• What is the composition (design/structure) of the photo?
• Where is the subject placed in the frame of your photo?
• Follow the rule of thirds. Each photo has three distinct areas: the central focus, the pivotal feature of any photograph; then peripheral supporting material; finally the key element directing the viewer’s eye to the subject.
• Symmetry. “Ask yourself what peripheral material pulls the eye into your photo?”
• Does your photo subject fill the frame?
• Can you delete needless material to improve the central focus?
Gassaway’s informative program included numerous photographs illustrating how those guidelines can help create lasting visual memories well worth saving of each season’s inviting gardens. Even photos destined for scrapbooks deserve careful planning.
The Muskogee Garden Club was organized in March 1930. Dues were $1 for its 114 members. In 1935, the Garden Club was awarded the Better Homes & Garden magazine’s “More Beautiful America” Achievement Award. Although the complexion of the group has changed since then, membership is still open to anyone interested in gardens. The club now provides generous scholarships to area college students majoring in horticulture.