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Look Back at Chelsea Flower Show Gardens

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The David Harber and Savills garden, view through corten rusted steel screens towards the Aeon sculpture, planted with Lupinus 'Persian Slipper', Aquilegia 'Blue Barlow', Aquilegia 'Nora Barlow' - Designer: Nic Howard - Spon

The David Harber and Savills garden: Designer: Nic Howard

As a garden photographer one of the joys of the Chelsea Flower Show is getting early access at 5.30am to witness some beautiful sunrises over the show gardens. With such a large catalogue of images I’m looking back at the past 5 years of gardens at Chelsea, a time that camera sensor technology really advanced too, allowing shots like these sunrises.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The M&G Garden, view of Forest of Dean stone path and patio, oak garden wall, Aquilegia chrysantha, Briza media 'Golden Bee', Euphorbia wallichii, Phlox divaricata 'Clouds of Perfume', Quercus pubescens - Designer: Cleve We

Designer: Cleve West

RHS Chelsea flower show 2015 The M&G Garden – The Retreat - designer Jo Thompson - sponsors M & G Investments awarded silver gilt medal

Designer: Jo Thompson

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Breaking Ground Garden, Sunrise over the garden, Stipa gigantica, Melica altissima 'Alba', Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna', Salvia greggii 'Nachtvlinder', Verbascum phoeniculum 'Violetta', Pimpinella major 'Rosea', Designer:

Designers: Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Resilience Garden - Border pla

Designer: Sarah Eberle

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The Telegraph Garden, view of bronze coated fin panels, limestone path, Isoplexis canariensis, adobe wall, Maytenus boaria, Quercus ilex, Schinus molle, -  Designer: Andy Sturgeon - Sponsor:  The Telegraph

Designer: Andy Sturgeon

Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates, 11 Lansdown, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1BB, England, UK. landscape garden designer Viking Cruises Wellness garden gold medal RHS Chelsea Flower Show London UK 2018 photography by Stephen Studd photographer, Built by Gar

Designer: Paul Hervey-Brookes

As an organic allotment holder I am always on the look out for gardens that incorporate growing fruit and vegetables. In 2017 the BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Taste Garden designed by Jon Wheatley really had it all.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden designed by Mark Gregory in 2018 had a beautifully compact veg patch under a cascading Wisteria.

For small urban spaces Tom Massey found a great solution for growing your own.

A hand woven wicker compost heap was a novel idea on the garden designed by Ann-Marie Powell.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden, woven willow compost bins, insect hotel on side of shed, Digitalis purpurea and cow parsley - Designer Anne Marie Powell - Sponsor: RHS

The cut flower garden by Sarah Raven was a delight and packed with colour.

Matt Keightley’s Radio 2 Texture garden had to have the best garden wall award.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, Stone path, concrete wall inlaid with moss balls, Acer Griseum, Euphorbia 'Fens Ruby',  Euphorbia 'Whistleberry Garnet', Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', Stipa tenuissima, CalaHis planting in the garden was also exquisite.

I’m always fascinated by the seating used by garden designers, my all time favourite were the granite boulders by Darren Hawkes.

Stephen Studd - The Brewin Dolphin Garden - granite stone carved seats on patio area, dry stone wall -Designer Darren Hawkes Landscapes - Sponsor Brewin Dolphin awarded gold medalHere’s a selection of some more.

A garden which took me back to the colourful Mexican palette I encountered on my travels was the Beneath A Mexican Sky garden designed by Manoj Malde.

Favourite water feature was Jo Thompson’s natural swimming pool, one day I’ll have my own it’s on the tick list.

Stephen Studd - The M & G Garden  The Retreat -wooden jetty over natural swimming pond pool, water marginal plants -designer Jo Thompson - sponsors M & G Investments awarded silver gilt medal

These other water features I really liked.

First sauna in the garden at Chelsea, Paul Hervey-Brookes one was very enticing.

Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,  11 Lansdown, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1BB, England, UK. landscape garden designer Viking Cruises Wellness garden gold medal RHS Chelsea Flower Show London UK 2018 photography by Stephen Studd photographer, Built by GarFor the inner child in you, who didn’t want to climb up in to the tree house designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with Andree Davies and Adam White.

Photographer: Stephen Studd -The RHS Back to Nature Garden – w

During lockdown many of us are having to work from home, Chelsea had some great spaces for garden offices.

Another on my to have list is the shepherd hut by Plankbridge, office or hideaway, tbc.

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Supershoes, Laced With Hope Garden: urban garden wall with graffiti, curved wooden bench, mixed border planted with Lupinus 'Towering Inferno', Lupinus Desert Sun', Lupinus 'Masterpiece', Geum 'Cosmopolitan'. Poppies, Al

With climate change a reality, al fresco dining areas are increasingly important areas of the garden. This one designed by Tony Woods had an outdoor kitchen, edible living wall and had water conservation at it’s heart. 

The RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden also had water conservation at it’s heart and creating spaces that are beneficial to wildlife.

Naturalistic planting is becoming more evident at Chelsea, a technique that I use in my own garden. It has been backed up in numerous studies that the colour green promotes quicker healing and recovery from illness and is also good for mental well being and stress reduction.

This softening with green can also be used in urban landscape design and community centres.

Finally the plants are the real show stoppers at Chelsea and here are some of my favourite views over the past 5 years.

x

Don’t you just love Chelsea.

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Supershoes, Laced With Hope G

Really missing Chelsea this year and seeing lots of friends there and coming home with bags full of design ideas, but looking forward to next years. Do check out this years RHS Virtual Chelsea by clicking this link.

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Missing Chelsea

It’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show Press Day, or would have been, which usually sees me waking up at 4am for early access to photograph the show gardens. Instead this year I woke up at 4.30am panicking I was late, my Chelsea body clock is still there, today there was a beautiful sunrise, still, sunny and the air filled with bird song, just like Chelsea last year. The Andy Sturgeon garden for M&G, won Best in Show & Gold Medal.

The garden was one I kept going back to, it felt very calming and contemplative amongst all the busyness at Chelsea.

Being a Yorkshire lad, the Welcome to Yorkshire garden by Mark Gregory was a must see, it really looked like it had been there since the time the canal lock was built, a great feat of engineering and planting.

As a garden photographer having early access to the show gives you time to really look around and see the gardens that resonate with you, even if they didn’t get the coveted Chelsea Gold. There was something about the David Neale – Silent Pool Gin garden that I really liked. This garden showed that stark concrete environments can be softened by plants, a water feature and thought out garden design.

Green really was the colour last year, with bold use in The Greenfingers Charity Garden. designed by Kate Gould, which also used soft pastel tones in the planting which were very calming.  The garden was designed to resemble one of their hospice gardens and be restful, uplifting and interactive, a place of play, relaxation and peaceful contemplation.

It was great to see the The Green Switch Garden designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara another garden of contemplation and everything Zen, the joy on Kazayuki’s face when he won another Chelsea gold was lovely to witness.

Rusted metalic colours were also evident last year, I really liked the digger bucket turned in to a lily pond on the The Walker’s Forgotten Quarry Garden, designed by Graham Bodle.

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Walker's Forgotten Quarry Gard

Also the banana leaf on the CAMFED Garden Giving Girls in Africa a Space to Grow, designed by Jilayne Rickards.

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The CAMFED Garden Giving Girls in

The copper chair on the Silent Pool Gin garden

Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Silent Pool Gin Garden – con

The High Maintenance Garden designed by Sue Hayward had repurposed galvanised metal tanks and old metal railings with trailing roses.

The Resilience Garden designed by Sarah Eberle with the old silo, addressed the challenges posed by climate change and the pests and diseases that threaten forests today and in the future.

Chris Beardshaw’s  Morgan Stanley garden looked at how to create sustainable gardens through materials sourced and also in the constructing of them. It was another garden that felt peaceful and relaxing.

The RHS Back to Nature Garden, designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with Andree Davies and Adam White was a fun space for children, with dens tree houses and water, big ideas packed in to a small space. Who wouldn’t like to be in the tree house and have a go on the rope swing?

Another garden for children was the Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden designed by Jody Lidgard which had to win the ‘in your face with colour’ award. It was packed with great ideas about growing food, including this edible living wall.

Finally last years Chelsea paid tribute to the 75th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day Landings in Normandy with a commemorative D Day 75 garden designed by John Everiss, set against the Royal Hospice. It was a very strong emotive and moving space, especially with the metal sculptures set in slate and the 10,000  ‘Sea Thrift’ which the troops would have seen on the beaches as they landed.

There might not be a live RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year, but there is a Virtual Chelsea, starting with Members Day today and continuing each day until May 23rd you can find out what’s on by following this link RHS Virtual Chelsea

I will be posting some of my favourite Chelsea gardens and plants this week on my social media accounts and also on another blog post on Wednesday.

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Kinetic Musical Troughs and Colour – a glance back at RHS Chelsea 2017.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  Beneath A Mexican Sky garden,Taking my first peek at the show last year on the Sunday before press day,  Manoj Malde’s ‘Beneath a Mexican Sky’ garden stopped me in my tracks with it’s in your face bold use of colour. Having spent some time in Mexico myself I know that Mexicans are not shy of using colour.

Manoj’s garden had a quiet, relaxed feeling to it and had one of my favourite plants Agave Americana, showing the blue green colours against the orange wall and turquoise water feature.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  Beneath A Mexican Sky garden,

Walking around taking in the show gardens I noticed that there seemed to be a predominant colour palette of reds, oranges and yellows coming through, as seen here in Charlotte Harris’s RBC Garden with planting of Aquilegia canadensis with Zizia aurea.Photographer: Stephen Studd, The Royal Bank of Canada Garden,  D

The Hagakure Hidden Leaves garden designed by Shuko Noda was framed in red, picturing another tranquil, peaceful and calming space._MG_8459

As a professional garden photographer at Chelsea, I know that one of the hardest spots for a garden designer to fill is the one that Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins ‘The Silk Road’ garden filled dramatically and really showcased the colour scheme of yellows, reds and oranges in such a large scale._MG_8674The Viking Cruises ‘Garden of Inspiration’ by Sarah Eberle had bright vivid mosaics and of course the orange tree to take you straight to the Med._MG_8464The Breast Cancer Now Garden: Through the Microscope designed by Ruth Willmott_MG_8611used the colour palette of oranges, reds and yellows to great effect._MG_8613

A new feature at the show in 2017 were the BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens, which were designed to uplift the senses and encourage people to lose themselves in the sights, scents, sounds, flavours and textures.

The Zoe Ball Listening Garden, designed by Skipper of the light fandango, James Alexander-Sinclair was another show stopper with the kinetic musical troughs. They were mesmerizing, just watching the sound waves ripple on the water and seeing what patterns they produced _MG_8504with the occasional splash from deep bass sound, a novel idea well executed._MG_8507The Anneka Rice ‘Colour Cutting’ garden designed by Sarah Raven was a colourful garden which had a lovely retro, nostalgic feel to it._MG_8731

The garden was a riot of colour which was blended together with great talent._MG_9075

As an allotment holder, the Chris Evans ‘Taste Garden’ designed by Jon Wheatley, reminded me of visits as a young child to my Uncle Harry’s garden in Ipswich, whilst giving me allotment envy.Photographer: Stephen Studd - The BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Taste Garden garden, from right to left: Cabbage 'Red Jewel, Kale 'Reflex' Kale 'Redbor', lettuce 'Red Iceberg', Leek 'Cumbria', with nasturtium 'Tall mixed', sweetcorn 'Sundance', runner bean 'StThe vegetable garden also reflected the warm colours of reds and bronzes.Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Taste Garden garden, Lettuce from right to left, 'Red Iceberg', 'Nymans', 'Lettony', Designer: Jon Wheatley

The Jeremy Vine ‘Texture Garden’ designed by Matt Keightley had so many great design ideas packed in to a small space, wow what a wall that was and great use of oversized irregular-shaped paving stones that created a feeling of space.Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, Stone path over pond, concrete wall inlaid with moss balls, Acer Griseum, Euphorbia 'Fens Ruby',  Euphorbia 'Whistleberry Garnet',  Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', Stipa tenuiMatt’s sumptuous planting truly showcased beautiful flower, grass and conifer plant combinations alike.

Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, Acer Griseum, Prunus serrula, Iris germanica 'Kent Pride', Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', Pinus mugo 'Mughus', Pinus mugo 'Pumilio', Stipa tenuissima, Calamagrostis x acutifl
Prunus serrula, Iris germanica ‘Kent Pride’, Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’, Pinus mugo ‘Mughus’ & ‘Pumilio’, Stipa tenuissima, Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, Calamagrostis brachytricha, Melica altissima ‘Alba’, Pimpinella major ‘Rosea’, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Giant Bronze’

His garden really stood out with the combination of textures in it and coppery red tones with the grasses catching the sunlight transforming their colours whilst waving gently in the wind.Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, Verbascum 'Firedance', Iris germanica 'Kent Pride', Stipa tenuissima, Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', Calamagrostis brachytricha, M

Copper was used to great effect in Charlotte Harriss’s garden with the patinated copper pavilion._MG_8744

The sunrise light on the Breaking Ground garden, designed by Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam had a striking copper wall and Stipa gigantean and other grasses again absorbing the warm morning light.Photographer: Stephen Studd - The Breaking Ground Garden, Sunrise over the garden, Stipa gigantica, Melica altissima 'Alba', Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna', Salvia greggii 'Nachtvlinder', Verbascum phoeniculum 'Violetta', Pimpinella major 'Rosea', Designer:

Finally the RHS ‘Greening Grey Britain‘ garden designed by Professor Nigel Dunnett was brimming full of take away ideas. The living roof over the wheelie bins, growing herbs and edibles was a great idea, even down to the wooden legs with drilled holes for solitary insects._MG_9143-EditThe very contemporary urban garden showcased the principles of sustainable rainwater management, with naturalistic informal planting set against the strong shapes and forms of the paths and hard surfaces. Greening Grey Britain Garden Nigel Dunnett RHS Chelsea Flower ShThe RHS ‘Greening Grey Britain‘ campaign is addressing the fact that we are paving over the UK, which is harmful to wildlife and is damaging to the nation’s health, whilst putting homes at more risk from flooding. Working with communities to transform neglected spaces into beautiful ones, researching about plants that can make the most difference to the environment and showcasing inspirational gardening at their shows and gardens. These spaces at the shows are always inspirational as they are achievable in our own spaces, no matter how small they are, helping everyonewith ideas to “get Greening Grey Britain, one plant at a time.”  _MG_8436

With the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 countdown on, I look forward to seeing the new trends in garden design at the show this year.Photographer: Stephen Studd  -  The BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Texture Garden, sun reflected in small pond, Verbascum 'Firedance', Pinus mugo, Stipa tenuissima, Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', Calamagrostis brachytricha, Melica altissima 'Alba'


My garden and travel photography website is: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Flower photography workshops & photography holidays: Digital Photography Holidays

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Macro Art – IGPOTY

The photograph I entered for the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition won 1st place in the Macro Art category. The exhibition of all winning entries from each category of the competition is presently on at Kew Gardens until March 11th. After this it will tour to various venues in the UK and The Netherlands, Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain and Germany.

Giant Carrot

Giant Carrot – 1st Place IGPOTY Macro Art

My photograph is also gracing the front cover of the Edition 11 book.

The exhibition and book showcases the winners and best entries with inspirational images of beautiful flowers, wildflower landscapes, nature and wildlife, still life of macro/plant portrait photography.

macro art photography workshop with stephen studd photographer IGPOTY front cover collection 11 International Garden Photographer of the Year 2017 2018

The photograph was taken at the Malvern Autumn show where they host the UK National Giant Vegetables Championship, all sorts of vegetables are on display as part of the competition.

People at the show were photographing the whole size of the giant veg, but to me the oversized veg look rather grotesque and  not photogenic. This made me think outside the box as a photographer and look at the subjects and interpret them in a different way, as on closer inspection they reveal patterns that are not usually seen on ordinary sized veg. I decided to produce a series of abstract images of the giant veg instead.

When I teach my photography workshops, I always talk about what is the ‘end use’ of the images you take, for these it is a series of fine art framed abstract photographs. For this set I used a Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro lens to focus in close to the vegetables I photographed.

Each giant veg I photographed revealed their own unique abstract patterns as can be seen in the very small selection from the series below. Can you guess what any of them are?

onion

_R4D6207

Pumpkin

The judging panel for IGPOTY said: “Stephen’s image has emphatically answered the brief by executing a simple idea extremely well. We get lost in the extraordinary shapes, colours and textures of the carrot, which is anything but the ordinary vegetable we think we are so well accustomed with.”

Congratulations to all the other entries from the competition which can be found here: IGPOTY Macro Art

My website is: http://www.stephenstuddphotography.com


WORKSHOPS:

I am hosting two flower photography workshops in June & July in the UK at Hampshire Carnivorous Plants & The Cottage Herbery, plus Bluebell photography workshops in April

I also run travel and landscape photography holidays and tours in Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam the USA & UK. Please visit the website for full itineraries and dates of tours: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

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Step Inside the Quarry Garden at RHS Chatsworth

This year was the very first RHS Flower Show set in the beautiful grounds of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Paul Hervey-Brookes designed the Quarry Garden for the Institute of Quarrying, which celebrates it’s centenary this year.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The garden won a well deserved RHS Gold Medal and also won Best Show Garden & Best Construction. The commissioned “Passing Light” steel and stone wall was designed by Stroud based sculptor Ann Margreth Bohl.

 

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,  11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

Paul Hervey-Brookes, winning Gold & Best in Show, with Gareth Wilson with Best Construction award at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show.

The gardens influence was the life cycle of a quarry, with the owners having just built a modern house who are themselves influenced by Brutalist architecture.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The main water feature in the garden reminded me of visits to old quarries which were at one point an influence in my own landscape photography. The garden also made use of the sweeping Capability Brown landscape of Chatsworth House.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The rusted steel colours were picked up in the planting

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

and use of stone boulders in the design.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The garden was divided into different zones,

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

which worked well visually in such a large scale garden. It was truly a garden you could get lost in time watching the light bounce around during the days and seasons, especially from the hidden corners.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

Paul’s planting palette was exquisite.Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

The trio of awards were well justified for a garden of such immense scale at the inaugural Chatsworth House RHS Flower Show.

Paul Hervey-Brookes landscape garden designer, Chatsworth RHS Flower Show 2017,  IQ Quarry Garden, Gold medal, Best in Show and Best Construction, Photography by Stephen Studd photographer for Paul Hervey-Brookes Associates,   11 Lansdown, Stroud, Glouces

Paul has also designed the Viking Cruises World of Discovery garden which can be seen at Hampton Court Flower Show, which runs from July 4th – 9th July 2017

Paul Hervey-Brookes website: www.paulherveybrookes.com/

Gareth Wilson Landscape Services Ltd: http://www.gkwilsonlandscaping.co.uk/

Stephen Studd Photography: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Ann Margreth Bohl: www.annmargrethbohl.com

Institute of Quarrying: www.quarrygarden.org

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Behind the Photo: New Shoots

Spring is bursting at the seams at the moment, each and every day bringing new shoots to the surface. I thought I would share with you some photography tips on one of my shots that has sold for a multitude of uses.

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana emerging in May planted in greenhouse

A very simple shot to achieve, just a little patience is required whilst you wait for the seedling to emerge.

For this shot I grew the seedlings in a large seed tray with the seeds spread wide apart as I just wanted one seedling in the shot.

The advantage of growing the seedling in a seed tray was once it emerged I could move the tray to the best light. I always prefer using natural light in my photography, so I placed the tray in a window, not one that has direct sunlight. Doing this gives the lovely fresh feeling to the seedlings leaves as they are backlit. I was after that feeling of fresh new growth and nature bursting out, the compost can be seen pushed away at the base of the seedling.

If you were to photograph with the window light behind you the seedling would look much duller as in the photo below.

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana emerging in May planted in greenhouse

For the main shot I used a macro lens, if you don’t have one, extension tubes can be used. I also used a tripod as this was essentially a studio style shoot. With the tripod I had control of where I could put the seed tray in front of the camera for the light I was after (backlit window light). I could also use a low ISO of 100.

I always use mirror lock and a remote release when I’m taking shots like this with the camera on a tripod, reducing the chance of camera shake.

I shoot on manual so I can control the exposure, look and feel of the shot. When shooting with the camera on a tripod getting the right exposure and depth of field is made much easier once you have the composition you are after as you are working in a controlled environment. Focus on manual, especially when using a macro lens.

I always shoot in RAW mode so I can process the image afterwards.

Finally for me it is important to know what variety the seedling is for captioning afterwards, so keep a note.

As the shot was intended for commercial use I left lots of room at the top of the shot for text, (for a magazine or book cover), with space at the bottom and sides for copy too. (Graphic designers will love you for it).

To recap for the shot:

  • Tripod used
  • Low ISO
  • Macro lens (or you can use extension tubes)
  • Mirror lock & remote release
  • Backlit window light
  • Control depth of field so just the seedling is in focus
  • Shoot on manual (especially when using a tripod)
  • Manual focus on the seedling
  • Use single shot drive mode
  • Shoot in RAW format

When the seedling first emerges like this act quickly, they grow and change very quickly overnight.  After I had finished photographing I grew the Kale Nero de Toscano seedling on and planted it on my allotment once the seedling had established. I was able to eat the leaves of the plant once it had grown to maturity, whilst receiving royalty cheques from it too.

 


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IGPOTY Awards 2015; Behind the Photos

 

 

The International Garden Photographer of the Year awards have just been announced, I was Commended in the Beautiful Gardens category for this shot of Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco.

Morocco marrakech travel photography holidays workshops tours

Morocco, Marrakech, Jardin Majorelle (Yves Saint Laurent Garden)

I visited the garden a number of times as I was in Marrakech 10 days early before guests turned up for a photography city break I run there. The garden is a photographers dream with its bold colours and planting. The cobalt blue walls are a great backdrop to any plants in pots. The plant in this pot was just catching some sunlight giving depth to the composition.

I also converted it to black and white, and was going to send this one instead as I liked the simplicity of the shot.

Which one do you prefer?

marrakech Morocco Jardin majorelle digital photography holidays tours and workshops

I was also Highly Commended in the Monochrome category for this shot of Chitting Potatoes.

Potatoes chitting by stephen studd Photography

Chitting Potatoes

This was taken with my 100mm Canon macro lens, shot in a north facing window in natural light. It was the two shoots that caught my eye as they looked like weird alien cartoon characters. Even from the simplest of subjects you can find something to photograph with the macro lens.

Congratulations to Magdalena Wasiczek for her overall winning shot: The Ballerinas

To see all the awards for this year follow this link

My websites: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Travel photography holidays & UK flower photography workshops: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com including City Break to Marrakech & Atlas Mountains.


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Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

This years Malvern Spring Gardening Show started off very wet and muddy. The show garden designers had it tough on the lead up to the show with record amounts of rain. Thankfully the show went on and after a wet start to Thursday the subsequent days were dry and sunny.

Graduate Gardeners Ltd garden “A Place to Reflect” designed by Ann Steed & Ian Morrison gained them their 5th gold and fourth in a row Best Show Garden.  The vertical fern wall and stainless steel water chute  was a much talked about feature.

Vertical gardening featuring fern wall and water feature "A Place to Reflect", designed by Ann Steed & Ian Morrison, Graduate Gardeners Ltd, Awarded Gold, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

Vertical living fern wall and stainless steel water chute; Graduate Gardeners Ltd “A Place to Reflect” designed by Ann Steed & Ian Morrison, Gold and Best in Show Garden

The seating area backed by a highly skilled laid Cotswold dry stone wall and a circular butterfly garden wall feature.

A Place to Reflect, designed by Ann Steed & Ian Morrison, Graduate Gardeners Ltd, Awarded Gold, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

Seating area and Cotswold dry stone wall

Stepping stones over a black pebble pool lead you to the rear of the garden.

A Place to Reflect, designed by Ann Steed & Ian Morrison, Graduate Gardeners Ltd, Awarded Gold, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

A Place to Reflect, designed by Ann Steed & Ian Morrison, Graduate Gardeners Ltd, Awarded Gold & Best in Show, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

Un Poco de Hogar (A Little Bit of Home) designed by Alchemy Gardens, the alchemists of stone, with Villagio Verde`s ancient olive trees amongst the cascades of water and the Mediterranean herbs on the slope at 5.30am sunrise transported me to the Alpujarras in Spain, especially with the deep cyan sky and warm light.

Un Poco de Hogar ( A Little Bit of Home) Awarded Silver Gilt Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

Un Poco de Hogar ( A Little Bit of Home) designed by Alchemy Gardens & Villagio Verde, Awarded Silver Gilt, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

Mediterranean herbs such as lavender, thyme and rosemary drift around the garden.

Lavender, thyme and rosemary

Lavender, thyme and rosemary

The refreshing water cascade running down two sides of the garden over reclaimed stone run into a deep cavern.

Un Poco de Hogar ( A Little Bit of Home) Awarded Silver Gilt Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

The cascade running down both sides of the garden disappear in to a cavern.

 

“Hasten Slowly” designed by Imogen Cox Associates was a large show garden with an amazing green oak pergola reminiscent of a barn frame, paved underneath, with a rill running through the garden into the wildlife pond.

"Hasten Slowly" designed by Imogen Cox Associaites, awarded Silver Flora, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

Green Oak pergola; “Hasten Slowly” designed by Imogen Cox Associaites, awarded Silver Flora, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

The rill runs straight through the garden over the path under the pergola with a gentle flow to the wildlife pond which is edged with Primulas and Geums.

"Hasten Slowly" designed by Imogen Cox Associaites, awarded Silver Flora, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

Rill flowing through the garden into the wildlife pond

Hanging over a formal pool is a seat attached to a grand green oak frame.

"Hasten Slowly" designed by Imogen Cox Associaites, awarded Silver Flora, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

 

The theme for the School Gardens was Sustainability for All. Our future young designers gave us lots of very useful and practical ideas for reducing waste and reusing materials for living in a more sustainable way.

The Good Life, designed by Tudor Grange Academy, Worcester

The Good Life, designed by Tudor Grange Academy, Worcester

Winners Best School Garden; George`s Marvellous Medicine, Designed by Burlish Park Primary School, Theme; Sustainability for All.

Winners Best School Garden; George`s Marvellous Medicine, Designed by Burlish Park Primary School, Theme; Sustainability for All.

recycled reused materials being used as growing containers

recycled reused materials being used as growing containers

With the very difficult conditions we have experienced in Spring the floral Marquee still managed to put on a great display, though many of the nurseries had needed better conditions for full bloom.

My favourite flower at the show was Meconopsis Sheldonii- Himalayan Blue Poppy, photographed from underneath looking up in to the flower.

Meconopsis Sheldonii  - Himalayan Blue Poppy

Meconopsis Sheldonii – Himalayan Blue Poppy

Next stop Chelsea.


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Garden, Plant and Flower photography workshops 2012

Allium Purple Sensation against sun

Allium Purple Sensation against sun

 So another year has begun 2012. Last year seemed to whizz by, a very busy one for myself. Was really pleased with the awards received for my photography. Would also like to thank all the amazing people I worked with in 2011, such spirited passionate horticulturists are always a pleasure to meet. The shows I attended last year were excellent and one always walks away from them with great new ideas.

My allotment produced lots of food with no major glut, except for fruit, which filled the freezer which I am working through in these exceptionally mild winter months.

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana

2012 sees me teaming up with Painswick Rococo Gardens, near Stroud in Gloucestershire for some garden photography workshops. There are still places left on the 1 day Garden, Plant and flower Photography workshops.

Dates are;

Saturday March 24th

Saturday May 19th

Saturday July 19th

Saturday September 22nd

This will give a good cross section of seasons. There is lots to photograph at the magical Rococo Gardens. Group size is limited to 5 people maximum.

Price for the day includes all tuition, tea/coffee home made biscuits on arrival, 2 course lunch and tea/coffee and cake in the afternoon.

Further details can be found at; http://www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Heres to a fruitful year in 2012 in all that we do.


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Articles for Landscape Juice

Last week I was approached by Carol Miers who is a journalist for Landscape Juice to write an article on the things we need to do in those winter months such as tweaking our websites. Those things we can put off and procrastinate about.

 In the articles in Landscape Juice I mentioned about captioning images for better SEO placement. Search engines won`t be able to find images unless they are captioned.

I would like to show two examples. The first image has not been captioned it just has the file number on. Hover your mouse over the image and all you will see is _R4D5147.jpg. This is not very handy for search engines to find the content of the image.

This second image is captioned and in WordPress the following have been filled in;

Title; Watering can covered in snow, winter. (Now hover the mouse over the image to see the title, this image can now be found by search engines)

Alternative Text; Watering can covered in snow, winter, photography by Stephen Studd

Caption; This is the wording that you will see below the image on the page.

Description; A description of the image.

Watering can in snow

Watering can covered in snow, winter

Also Carol asked me about advice on getting the most out of camera phones. I have to admit that in my profession I do use top end Canon digital cameras, however I do play around with my camera phone and use this more for a journal of ideas and details that interest me.

The walk to work

The walk to work

It is also useful for taking images of scenes that aren`t quite right to take at the time on my pro camera but great for my phone as a reference.

This year at the Tatton Park flower show I really liked the show garden designed by Sue Beesley of Bluebell Cottage Gardens. The planting and colour combinations I was really drawn to. This was a 5 day shoot for me so I had plenty of time to observe when the light was best at certain gardens. The Echinacea “Green Envy” amongst the grasses looked really strong. The image below is my reference shot on my camera phone.

"Grasses with Grace", Awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire 2011, Designed by Sue Beesly, Bluebell Cottage Gardens & Nursery

Sue Beesley Garden "Grasses with Grace" Awarded Gold

 This was great as a reference and with the use of a compass to see where sunrise and sunset would happen, I was blessed on a later day with low level sunset light from behind the flowers to capture this shot on my Canon.

"Grasses with Grace", Awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire 2011, Designed by Sue Beesly, Bluebell Cottage Gardens & Nursery

Echinacea "Green Envy", Sue Beesley Gold medal Garden, Grasses with Grace at Tatton 2011

 On the same shoot at Tatton Park I really liked the show garden designed by Gary Hillery, Ken Walton, Finchale Training College, which won a Gold. When I first got to this garden late on the first day I was looking for views. On my cameraphone I took the first shot as a reference.

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park,

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park,

 This second shot is the same view, but given an aged feel to it in Lightroom 3, which the garden purveyed. There are also lots of apps which could be used.

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal

Finally the image below I didn`t have my camera with me, but captured this image of these Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) on my phone. In Lightroom 3 I altered the image to show how easy it is to change the feel of a photograph.

Dicentra, Bleeding Heart

Dicentra, Bleeding Heart

 The link to the articles in Landscape Juice;

Have fun creating images whichever way you choose!

I am leading some Garden and Flower photography workshops in 2012, details can be found on my website

In 2012 I will also be blogging about my allotment through the months and seasons, with photography taken on site, hope you can join me.