garden photography: monochrome

Well it is February and the start of a new theme. If you want to add a new dynamic to your photography then try adding pattern, form and texture. Often converting an image to black and white brings out something of interest, be it patterns or textures, that somehow get overlooked by colour.

  • You can use patterns as the main subject of your photo with the focal point on the patterns. Or, you can use the patterns as a backdrop to something else. Sometimes the interest of a focal point is the break in a pattern. Sometimes a pattern is not so obvious to the eye because of size. So you might need to get closer to your subject. Often patterns are best seen by filling the frame.
  • Texture conveys how the subject feels; is it hard or soft, smooth or rough. If you can convey these feelings then you are translating texture visually. The angle of light will help here. And getting close.

But I’m not confining this month to pure B&W, you can look for images that are composed from tones of one colour, or perhaps a sepia tint suits your subject better. As always, it is up to you how you interpret this month’s theme.

In February I am looking for Monochrome

(black and white or tones of one colour. Look for texture, shape and patterns. The subject matter is entirely up to you, but should be loosely garden related.)

Hogweed
Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)

I have several photos of common hogweed and other umbels, taken in the wild, as I love the shape of these plants both in flower and in seed. Umbelliferae, in Latin meaning “bearing umbrellas”, refers to the umbel-type  flowering pattern of these plants, which are actually several flowers supported on a single head, of which there are two varieties:

  • Most plants in the family are of type (b), called compound inflorescence, where a series of flowers meet together at a sub-node prior to attaching to the main steam,
  • whereas in type (a), each flower itself is directly connected to the main steam, called simple inflorescence.

Wild Carrot, and all its familiar cousins, including Anise, Angelica, Dill, Cumin, Fennel, Coriander, Parsley, Celery, Caraway, Chervil and Parsnip belong to type (b) as does Hogweed. The flowers of hogweed are white and held in umbels with all the flowers in the umbel facing upwards. Beware that poison hemlock and water hemlock are also members of the Parsley family!

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it FebruaryMonochrome
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in March.
  • Please visit the sites linked in the comments to see what others are posting.
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76 thoughts on “garden photography: monochrome

  1. I love this hogweed portrait, Jude, and this abstract rendition, which somewhat counterintuitively perhaps, adds to the interest. i.e. It makes me want to know more about the plant because I now have this pared down image on my mental screen. V-errr-y in-ter-es-ting.

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    1. Thanks PP. I did play with this one, though to be fair it was already monochromatic as it was taken with a background of snow! I used a mixture of high key and line drawing and adjusted levels and contrast in Photoshop Elements. I wonder whether I should put the original image on the posts, or perhaps show them at the end of the month. What do you think?

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      1. I think it is interesting to see the original. Maybe a thumbnail size. Right you have inspired me I have PS Elements so I will “have a go”…

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  2. I will be intrigued to see these images Jude. I am enjoying watching your creativity with editing. When I think of flowers and gardens and don’t think of monochromatic so again this will fascinating.

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    1. Seems there are a few of us who would like this as a fabric or wallpaper. I’m sure I have actually seen cushion covers with a similar design. They would be perfect in the conservatory. And thanks Gilly for your lovely entry.

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      1. Just link to whichever is the current post from your post and then it will appear as a pingback, or link in the comments as you have done. The tag also works for me because I have created a list in the Reader (but I’m not sure many people know how to do that).

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  3. Lovely photo Jude, definitely a fabric design, I can just see it on curtains and upholstery fabric, long and tall run of windows, it would look fantastic…Here’s my entry created using Apple photos app, not too many creative options within their latest app, but, this was fun to play around with. :

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  4. This is an interesting post, Jude. I have dill. It’s the only herb I seem to be able to grow. The little flowers are delicate.
    I missed ‘January’ everything around the blog world. The holidays knocked me for a loop. I still love them. If I haven’t wished you a Happy New Year 2016 – here it is: May your year be filled with all the love your heart can hold. 😍
    Happy February,
    Isadora 😎
    http://isadoraartandphotography.com/2016/02/09/a-serene-spot/

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  5. I love the way silhouettes of weeds against snow look like sketches, and your hogweed is a lovely example of this. We also have a giant hogweed here in Vancouver which is about six feet high and stunning beautiful, and also incredibly poisonous, leaving burn-like blisters on you if you brush against it. Fortunately I found this out before I put my hands all over it!

    My take on a monochrome garden at https://elizabatz.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/february-challenge-the-monochrome-garden/

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    1. I have to add that I am intrigued, as always, by the different interpretations for the theme. I deliberately exercised constraint and did not look at the other entries until now – after I had laboured over mine. 🙂 G&P, Ken

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