03/13/17
rose photography

Rose Photography in the ARS

Rose Photography in the American Rose Society: Results of the 2016 ARS Digital Photography Contest

Rose photography in the American Rose Society has a growing interest, no pun intended. 🙂 The American Rose Magazine has had a photography contest for some time. In recent years, the contest has become a digital competition. Online entry is easy, and mailed CD’s, DVD’s, and thumb drives are also accepted. Yesterday, March 12, the ARS used online methods to announce the winners of the 2016 competition. Not only was it fun, but all of the winners could be shown. While the top winners will appear in the American Rose Magazine, print space does not allow for the showing of all winners.

I was very happy to win the Judges Class with ‘Hot Cocoa,’a floribunda rose grown by my mother and photographed by me. ‘Hot Cocoa’ is a russet rose, and russet is always a challenge to photograph!

rose photography

Floribunda Rose ‘Hot Cocoa.’ Winner of the Judges Class, 2016 American Rose Society Digital Photography Contest

A very big winner in the regular classes is the fourth, and newly appointed, PSWD Photography Chair, Juanita Ortega. I remember when Juanita was just beginning rose photography. She won awards with gorgeous images taken with a point-and-shoot camera and no editing software. (I also remember when she was just beginning in Arrangements.) She brings knowledge, dignity, and commitment to PSWD photography, and the PSWD is lucky to have her. Yesterday I lost track of all of her awards, but you can see all of them in this YouTube video, along with all of the other winners. A brief introduction is followed by all of the winners in all of the classes. Enjoy!

The rules for the 2017 ARS Digital Photography Contest have already been posted. Think about entering.

Rose show season is rapidly approaching, and the emphasis will move to rose photography in print form. Some people say entering a print is too expensive, referring to having it mounted and matted somewhere. Last year I prepared a short “how-to”in Kindle form. I show not only how to do it easily, but also how to do it inexpensively. More than that, this method eliminates all the “waves” frequently seen in some of the images in our rose shows.

The American Rose Society now offers a variety of options and settings for sharing your rose images.

09/9/16

Rose Blooms Not of Exhibition Quality

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Rose Photography for Rose Shows

Rose Blooms Not of Exhibition Quality – Can Photographers Do Anything with Them?

rose blooms

Great Form! Major color faults and not disbudded!

Rose blooms of less than exhibition quality sometimes have some features that photographers enjoy and/or find challenging. Photographs of such rose blooms are not a problem outside of ARS (American Rose Society) shows. However, in the horticultural photography classes in ARS shows, photographs of imperfect specimens are no more welcome than the actual specimen would be. Does this mean the photographer should just “walk on by” and not “stop to smell the roses?” Each person has to answer that question for him/herself. I would like to suggest some ways to enjoy these roses, and perhaps also create an image people enjoy and can be entered in ARS shows.

First and foremost, photographing any and all rose blooms is one way to work on photography skills. You can try different camera settings, explore different lighting conditions, learn if you personally prefer photographing cut specimens or specimens growing in the garden. For entry in ARS shows, all specimens must be outdoor garden grown. Photographs for shows may be of either cut specimens or specimens still growing in the garden. The more you photograph roses, the better you will become as a photographer and the more you will know your own preferences. You will develop your own “style.” Other people may recognize it before you do.

First Example

ARS members may access the Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography here.

One Class is

One Spray: Two or more blooms, any type of rose of Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora, Miniature, Miniflora, or
Floribunda classifications of roses. This class does NOT include collections.

Photography judges not infrequently encounter collections of roses, rather than sprays. When detected, these are not judged.

When I plan to show a photograph of a rose spray, I usually try to show the origin of the entire spray. That is personal preference and certainly not required. For illustration, this is a spray of ‘Dream Weaver.’

Spray of Rose Dream Weaver

Spray of ‘Dream Weaver’

Not too long ago I was photographing Veterans’ Honor. At first glance, what I took to be a spray, turned out to be a spray of two blooms and a stem with one bloom. I liked the flow and the rhythm of the collection but could not enter it as a “Spray.”

One of my favorite Classes is

Creative Interpretation
The photograph should evoke a sense of originality and a new and different way of imagining the rose or roses with the mind’s eye. This may include processes used to alter the original image such as colorizing, texturing, dodging, burning, dithering, painting, shadowing, blurring, layering, cloning, filtering, merging, cropping. Color, Black & White, Sepia, or combinations of these are permitted in this class. Photo enhancement software is permitted in this class.

In this class, pretty much anything goes, which is one reason I like it. The collection of Veterans’ Honor could be shown in this class, no problem. My personal preference in my own work is to try to maintain the beauty of the rose when I make alterations using software. That is by no means a requirement for this class, but it is what I personally try to do.

I decided to create a black and white image. Those of you who work with digital black and white know that there is no single “Black and White.” I wanted something soft and gentle, almost with an old fashioned look. Although the roses may appear to be in a vase, I photographed them on the bush, growing close to the back wall of my house. I was satisfied with the outcome.

rose blooms

A Collection, Not a Spray

Second Example

Another Class is

One bloom.
One bloom, no side buds, of Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora, Miniature, Miniflora, or Floribunda classifications of roses.

These are the exhibition form roses people tend to think of when they think of “rose.” Judges have specific guidelines for judging specimens in the horticultural portion of a rose show, and those same judging points count for 40% of the score of a photograph of one bloom of a rose. Form is extremely important in this class. This is a rose with great form, but it has just a few problems. 🙂

Roses are on the market that are visually similar to the one at the top of this post. However, this bloom should be solid red. The pink/white is a color fault, a major color fault. Judges would severely penalize this bloom. As if that were not enough, this rose has not been disbudded. You can clearly see the side bud in the lower left. The color fault and side bud are the two biggest problems here, but some judges would also deduct points for the rain drops. Rain drops personally do not bother me, but knowing how some judges view them, I tend not to enter in ARS shows images of roses with rain drops on them. In spite of all of those problems, it is a beautiful rose with great form. But, you wouldn’t show the specimen in a rose show, and if you want to show it photographically, you need to get a little creative.

As I have mentioned before, I am not fond of one-click photo editing filters that detract from the beauty of the rose. Creative Interpretation is the only class in which this image could be entered. But, I would have to change it in some way.

I spent a significant amount of time working with this image to achieve an effect I liked. I settled on this crimson/silver, which made the raindrops look like ice. This may be my Christmas card.

rose blooms

Digitally Altered for Creative Interpretation Class

Summary

If you see something visually interesting in a rose that you ordinarily would not enter as a specimen in a rose show, photograph what you find visually interesting. Then consider what you can do with it to be able to share it with others. The Creative Interpretation class allows plenty of options for showing the beauty in a bloom or rose blooms that otherwise might never be seen.

Post Script

Will I show these images as entries in a rose show? Probably not, given that I am showing them here for teaching and illustration purposes. But I would like to add that when working with rose images, I nearly always begin by cropping the digital image from the most usual digital camera ratio of 3:2 to a ratio for an 8×10 print, a 5:4 ratio. Prints ranging from 5×7 up to 8×10 are allowed by the Guidelines. For me, the 8×10 is large enough for the details to be seen the way I like for them to be seen.

Additionally, as I have pointed out previously, mounting and matting per the requirements of the Guidelines can be done by purchasing sets for this purpose in multiples of ten or more. These are available in a variety of places, but these are the ones I use:

I print my own images, and the cost to prepare an image for entry is around $3.00. Cost should not be a prohibiting factor for exhibiting your images in a rose show.

I have explained elsewhere how to easily and quickly mount and mat your images to meet specifications. For those who would like that info handy on a mobile device, it is available in Kindle form for $0.99. That is the lowest price Amazon would allow me to charge and still offer it there for convenience.

Above all, when you see something visually interesting in rose blooms, photograph them. Then consider what you might be able to do to share that with others through a photograph. And, enjoy the process!

06/9/16

Rose Gold Medal with Butterfly

Rose Gold Medal with Hair Streak Butterfly

The rose ‘Gold Medal’ has long been one of my mother’s favorites. I photographed the rose in her garden near sunset. The hair streak butterfly is from a macro shot taken in friends’ garden on a wonderful day. This image is a composite that brings together people important in my life and two gardens I love.

This image was chosen as the winner in the Judges Class of the 2015 American Rose Society Digital Photography Contest. I thank the special selection committee for that honor of an image that was already important to me for so many reasons.

rose Gold Medal ARS Photo Winner

Rose ‘Gold Medal’ with Hair Streak Butterfly

04/9/15
To See Beauty - Rose Hip

To See Beauty

To See Beauty – Take Time

“Take time to smell the roses” is an expression most of us have heard all of our lives. Rose blooms with their various scents are wonderful, no doubt about it. But roses, and other living things, and perhaps the whole world, have other wonderful parts and phases, if one takes the time to see them.

Here in Albuquerque, we had a warm winter with very little wind. Being outside was so enjoyable on many days. Pruning the roses early was a great temptation, but I refused to give in to that because I have seen in prior years the results of late freezes (May in one year). So, I took my camera out rather than pruning shears, and spent some time looking at things I had never studied in great detail before. It was a perfect opportunity to see beauty in frequently overlooked things.

Although I have always thought rose hips were fascinating, I had never seen them in the detail I noted this year. I had the opportunity to see beauty in rose hips.

This rose hip, from the climbing rose ‘Fourth of July’ was my favorite from this year.

This image is from my “Living Jewels” series.

To See Beauty - Rose Hip

To See Beauty – Rose Hip

02/9/15
rose 'queen elizabeth' early spring

Spring Too Early?

Spring Too Early? We Won’t Know until Summer

Spring. Can it ever be too early? As the Northeast is buried under record total snowfall for a winter, Albuquerque has been enjoying a stretch of warm, sunny, windless days, with highs hovering around 70°F. It is glorious just to be out and enjoying what many – including me – would describe as “perfect weather.”

clematis early spring

Clematis putting on growth in early February

Early growth on my clematis vine, growing as a companion plant with my rose ‘Mermaid.’

The question for a gardener, though, here in the High Desert, is, “can spring be too early?” That is a question that cannot be answered until late May! Why? The average last frost-free date here is in mid-April. If plants have already sprung forth with new growth, the tender new growth can die. One year we have a very late freeze in mid-May, and by that time the roses already had much new growth, buds, and some were actually blooming. That freeze killed back much of the new growth, and the Spring Rose Show of the Albuquerque Rose Society was pretty small that year. Along with the show, we had an Arrangement Judging School (taught by Lew Shupe and Gary Barlow!) attended by rose lovers from all over the Pacific Southwest District. The only roses that year I had to donate to the school for practice arrangements was ‘Betty Boop.’ Although that is the latest killing freeze I have experienced in my part of Albuquerque, I have not forgotten it!

Then there are the fruit trees. I have the dwarf peach ‘Bonanza,’ a fruit tree I truly love for many reasons. But, it is an early bloomer, and some years we get a freeze after the bloom and no peaches will be harvested that year. I grow it for many reasons besides the peaches, but I still prefer the years when peaches form. 🙂 I also have two pear trees: one that produces pears people like to eat, and the pollinator pear that produces pears the birds like to eat. Win-win for all! In years with late freezes, after the pears trees have bloomed, the tree with the fruit for people will not produce. I have to say, the pollinator pear is tough – the birds nearly always have their fruit produced.

Today and tomorrow are also supposed to be glorious days with highs around 70. I will be out enjoying the weather, and working in the garden to dig weeds and to do general clean-up. I could not ask for better weather. But behind all of that is just a bit of worry that the plants that are responding to the glorious weather now may also respond to cold weather and late freezes that can be part of life in the Southwest Desert. We won’t know if spring is too early until summer has arrived.

02/2/15
spring and roses

Roses 2014

Some Roses and Rose Photographs, 2014

Roses in Albuquerque in 2014 continued to suffer the effects of the prolonged drought in the Southwest. Albuquerque has devised a very effective way to encourage residents to reduce their use of water. We do not (yet) have formal rationing for most private users. However, the water bill is on a sliding scale based on use. The more water a person uses, the higher the rate becomes. Let me assure you, that is a very effective way to encourage people to be aware of their use of water.

I have decreased the number of roses I am currently growing. The ones I have kept are ones that mean something special to me, each for different reasons. I have spent more time photographing the roses I do have (as well as many other things). The roses on this page are roses I grew (with the exception of the image of Dr. Huey, taken on the First Annual Dr. Huey Rose Tour of the Corrales Rose Society, and the back cover of the 2014 American Rose Annual) and photographed.

Spray of Rose Dream Weaver

Spray of rose, ‘Dream Weaver.’ Image awarded ‘Queen’ at the ARS Fall 2014 National Convention.

I especially appreciate that the judges in this national show used the Score Card developed when I served as the first Chairman of Photography in the Pacific Southwest District for judging the rose photographs. When I began that task in the PSWD, it was clear that some system and uniformity was necessary. To see the Score Card used at the national level is very gratifying to me. Much less gratifying is overhearing judges instructions being given at some of the local shows in the Pacific Southwest District in 2014, where the instructions given were one person’s opinion with no reference to the Score Card, although the Score Card was printed in the Schedule. That will change over time, as those judging rose photographs will be required to be accredited rose judges, as in all other portions of rose shows today.

Some rose links:

American Rose Society

Albuquerque Rose Society

01/31/15
spring and roses

Dream Weaver Spray

Dream Weaver Spray – Queen of Show in Photography at ARS 2014 Fall National

Spray of Rose Dream Weaver

Spray of rose, ‘Dream Weaver.’ Image awarded ‘Queen’ at the ARS Fall 2014 National Convention.

‘Dream Weaver’ is a rose classified as a Climbing Floribunda. It can produce beautiful and large sprays.

This photograph of a Dream Weaver spray won Queen of Show in the Photography portion of the American Rose Society 2014 Fall Convention and Show. In roses, ‘Queen’ is the equivalent of ‘Best in Show.’

Many thanks to the judges for awarding this image. I especially appreciated that the judges in this national show used the Score Card for judging rose photographs developed when I served as the first Chairman of Photography in the Pacific Southwest District. When I began that task in the PSWD, it was clear that some system and uniformity was necessary. To see that used at the national level is very gratifying to me. Much less gratifying is overhearing judges instructions being given at local shows in the Pacific Southwest District where the instructions are one person’s opinion with no reference to the score card. But, that will change when only accredited rose judges are allowed to judge the rose photographs. Change may be slow, but it will happen.

03/8/14

Photography Seminar at ARS Convention

Photography Seminar

A Photography Seminar in two parts – a morning session and an afternoon session – has been organized by Sally Long of the San Diego Rose Society for the upcoming American Rose Society National Convention and Show. This promises to be an exciting day for rosarians interested in photography. Some of you will recall the Photography Seminar Sally Long and I, along with photographer Pat Berrett, presented in Albuquerque in 2012, and the excitement that that seminar generated. That seminar was aimed largely at teaching judges how to use the PSWD Photography Guidelines as they had been developed to that point. (For PSWD Guidelines as developed to 2010, see my article in the 2010 ARS Rose Annual, Lew Shupe, editor.)

The 2014 ARS Photography Seminar will be held on Friday, May 9. This seminar will be aimed toward exhibitors of photography. The morning session begins at 9:00 am and runs until noon, featuring two speakers. Curtis Aumiller, ARS Photography Chairman, will discuss some of the benefits of incorporating rose photography at the local, district, and national levels; some technical aspects of rose photography; and progress towards standardization of guidelines for rose photography in ARS shows. I will be the second speaker of the morning, presenting “Floral Photography 101,” an overview of some of the basics of floral photography, as well as some problem areas I have seen as a judge (arrangement photographs, for example, seem to present exhibitors with a variety of problems. We’ll discuss some of those, and ways to overcome them).

photography seminar

Roses: ‘Candy Cane,’ ‘Golden Showers,’ ‘Moondance,’ ‘Gourmet Popcorn’

The afternoon session, from 1:30 to 4:30, will begin with Bill Farmer discussing white balance, followed by Sally Long discussing macro and close-up photography. After that there will be a variety of break out sessions, from which you may choose those you would find most useful for you. I will have a hour-long session, “From Image in Your Eye to Finished Print,” covering ways to make sure your finished print matches what you photographed and what you saw on your computer screen.

Watch this page for more details as they are posted.

General information for the entire convention can be found here. Registration information can be found at that link, as well. Registration for the overall convention is discounted at least through March 10. The Photography Seminar is $20.00 for the both sessions, or $10.00 for the morning session and $10.00 for the afternoon session.

The Photography Seminar should be both fun and educational, and I hope to see some old friends and make some new ones there.

06/24/12

Rose Photography in the PSWD

One of the things that has taken my time away from this blog was my work in creating and then serving as the first Chair of the Pacific Southwest District of the ARS Rose Photography Committee, from its creation into 2012. I have been photographing roses and teaching about photographing roses. I also maintained a website, blog, and forum for rose photography in the Pacific Southwest District, which took my time away from this blog.

It has been very exciting to see the addition of Photography as a separate division in some of our rose shows. Watching its spread throughout the PSWD shows has been equally exciting. Partially in response to this work, the American Rose Society created a Rose Photography Committee in August of 2011. I am one of the initial members, and I’ll continue my work with rose photography through that committee. The website, blog, and forum for PSWD Photography are being removed, so that there is not conflict as the ARS Committee gets down to work.

The history of the work in the PSWD from 2008-2012, and the Rose Photography Guidelines produced are here:

History of Rose Photography in the PSWD, 2008-2012

PSWD Photography Guidelines as of June, 2012

rose photography: Spray of hybrid tea rose, 'Gemini'

Spray of hybrid tea rose, ‘Gemini’