06/23/17
rose photography

Rose Photography: Fully Open, Stamens Showing

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Rose Photography

Rose Photography: Fully Open, Stamens Showing

Rose photography has been an ongoing interest and sometimes a lot of hard work since 2008. Between 2008 and 2012, in addition to working on developing guidelines for judging rose photographs in rose shows, I had an educational website and blog, “PSWD Photography.” That was not carried forward under new leadership in 2012, and I had other things to do.

Recently, friends and acquaintances who are not judges, and some of whom are also not exhibitors, have asked how to do rose photography under the guidelines. Some would like to enter photographs in the 2018 ARS National in San Diego in October of 2018, and have asked for guidance. I decided to do a series on some of the different classes, using my own photographs as examples. This is not any kind of official statement, simply my interpretation of the Guidelines as I photograph my roses. This first pdf is on the class, “Fully Open, Stamens Showing.” I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

To view the pdf, LEFT CLICK on this link: Rose Photography for ARS Shows: Fully Open, Stamens Showing (A right click will not work; a left click will display the entire pdf for you to scroll through.)

The pdf is also available in PowerPoint form, which I am willing to make available to rosarians wishing to use it for teaching/presentation purposes.

Look for other classes such as “Sprays” and others in the future as I have time.

The best way to learn your camera and roses is to photograph, photograph, photograph. It is also a great way to have fun!

rose photography

Miniature rose, ‘Child’s Play,’ fully open, stamens showing
Blue Ribbon and Best of Section, Fully Open Roses, 2014 ARS Fall National Rose Show and Convention

05/28/17
Susan Brandt Graham

2017 PSWD Photography Judge Award

2017 Pacific Southwest District Outstanding Rose Photography Judge Award

The 2017 PSWD Outstanding Rose Photography Judge Award was a huge, but welcome, surprise to me. With many thanks to all of the people responsible for this honor!

2017 Photography Judge Award Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash;

I began work in the PSWD in 2008 to develop guidelines for judging rose photographs in our rose shows. I was already an ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge. But because I did not want to feel I was “shooting from the hip” in working for rose photographs in rose shows, I did UNM CE’s entire program in Digital Photography. I wanted to feel and to be competent for the task I set for myself. In 2012, the ARS recognized rose photography and set up a new committee to work on guidelines. It has been an honor to work with that national committee to establish working guidelines at the national level. It has been gratifying to see much of my work from the PSWD level incorporated into the guidelines at the national level.

The citation was read by Juanita Ortega, current Chair of Photography for the PSWD, at the District Convention, April 22, 2017:

The recipient of this award is an American Rose Society Accredited Horticulture and/or Arrangement Judge who has advanced the exhibition of rose photographs at local and district rose shows in the Pacific Southwest District. By encouraging rosarians to photograph their roses, our societies have attracted more members and contributed to the enjoyment of our national flower by the public.

This year, we recognize the efforts of one of the founders of this newest division of American Rose Society Rose Shows. For many years, she organized seminars and classes to teach interested ARS members the basics of photographing and displaying roses. She organized Rose Photography Divisions at national, district and local rose shows. This Photography Judge served on the American Rose Society Photography Guidelines Committee from 2012 through 2015.

The 2017 Pacific Southwest District Outstanding Rose Photography Judge Award is presented to Dr. Susan Brandt Graham from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Many thanks, Juanita, to you and the photographers of the PSWD. ~ Susan

02/2/17
spring and roses

Spring and Roses Are Coming

Spring and Roses Are Coming!

Spring and roses are coming, as this current warm spell reminds us. Although it is tempting to prune roses now, it is far too early. However, this is a great time to do some clean-up in the garden. The last cooler spell, along with the wind, removed most of the remaining leaves on my rose bushes. I can see crossing canes better now, and ones that need to be removed. I did a lot of that yesterday, but not pruning.

While waiting for this year’s roses, as well as other flowers and plants, I’m going to share some from prior years. I’m ready for spring:

spring and roses

Ambridge Rose, a David Austin Shrub Rose

spring and roses

Miniature rose, ‘Climbing Earthquake’

spring and roses

Old Garden Rose, Hybrid bracteata 1918
Mermaid

spring and roses

Miniature Rose ‘Marriotta.’

spring and roses

Rose ‘Gold Medal’ with Hair Streak Butterfly. Winner of the Judges Class, 2015 ARS American Rose Photography Competition.

I had multiple winners in the 2014 Fall National, but I’ll show two here, Queen and King.

spring and roses

Spray of ‘Dream Weaver,’ Queen of Show in Photography at the 2014 ARS Fall National

Spring and roses

“Gemini” – Creative Interpretation
King of Show in Photography, ARS 2014 Fall National Convention
Best of Show in Photography, Albuquerque Spring 2014 Rose Show

For those of you planning to enter photographs in ARS sanctioned rose shows with the requirement for images matted and mounted to 11×14 specifications, I have prepared a short “how to do it inexpensively and quickly” in Kindle format, which can be read on any device with the free Kindle app. It costs $0.99, the lowest price Amazon would allow me to offer it.

I’m looking forward to Spring and Roses!

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!

05/18/16

Dr Huey, 2016

Dr Huey, 2016: The 3rd Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr Huey Tour

Dr Huey, know best among most rosarians as a common root-stock for grafted roses such as hybrid teas, floribundas, and many other classes of roses, may be seen in all of its own glory all over the Village of Corrales, New Mexico, for approximately one week in May. The Corrales Rose Society held its 3rd Annual Dr Huey Tour on May 15 this year, and the blooms were truly at their peak; the best overall I have ever seen them.

You may wonder why Corrales has so many of this hybrid wichurana, not usually planted for its own good qualities. Corrales sits on the river, here in the Middle Rio Grande Valley. You may recall from elementary school that “hot air rises, cold air sinks.” When I’m visiting friends in Corrales, even in the summer, if I am going to be there in the evening, I always take a jacket. Winter nights can get 10°-15°F colder than my location in Albuquerque. Corrales could be considered a “cold sink” and is just another example of one of many micro environments in the high desert.

People buy and plant grafted roses, and enjoy them as such while they are in that form. But many winters have killing freezes, often prolonged. In a desert area where winterizing of roses is rarely, if ever done, the grafted portion dies. In spring, the very hardy, alkaline-soil-thriving root-stock appears. The blooms are not at all unattractive, as you will see. People in the high desert tend to appreciate what grows and thrives, and most of these are kept. Some people keep them trimmed; some allow them to grown into their natural fountain shape; many allow them to cascade beautifully over walls; and one in particular has gotten quite huge!!!

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed seeing the roses in person.

03/1/15
insight new mexico 2015

Insight New Mexico 2015

Insight New Mexico 2015: Through Her Eyes

Insight New Mexico has become the premier photography exhibition for New Mexico women photographers. Organized by LeRoy Perea, Insight is an outgrowth of the popular ANMPAS (Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show), held in December. Both are juried shows, and it is always an honor to have images selected for showing in either one.

The theme of this year’s show is Through Her Eyes. From the press release:

Through Her Eyes” the 2015 InSight exhibit opening April 5, 2015, at Expo New Mexico showcases the work of women photographers of New Mexico. It was juried by nationally respected women photographers: Jennifer Hudson, Linda Ingraham, Margot Geist and Phyllis Burchett. The show includes more than 125 images, representing the work of 61 emerging and professional women photographers residing in the state. You will see an array of diverse subjects, themes, and unique processes, and every image is available for purchase.

I am very happy that my two images were selected for inclusion in Insight New Mexico 2015, a show which is always fun. This year’s theme, Through Her Eyes, spoke to me. “The Observer, The Observed” was photographed and processed after I returned from Texas to be with my son. The amaryllis in “Postcard Series – Amaryllis” was photographed last year, but the processing of this image was also done after I returned from being with my son. Although rather different at first glance, the underlying theme of each is life transitions, with moments of beauty and of insight, and layers of meaning.

“The Observer, The Observed”

insight new mexico 2015

The Observer, The Observed

The Crow as symbol and in myth is a powerful creature around the world, but nowhere more so than in the Southwest. Crow is a Messenger who moves between Worlds; a Trickster who can steal Light from the Sky (the Sun) and bring it to people who need it; and an astute Observer. In early January I was out photographing a cloud bank rolling over the Sandia Mountains, with a storm predicted to follow it. Suddenly, some raucous crows appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and they left as quickly as they came. This one crow, however, stayed behind, briefly, and seemed to pose for this one image, almost as a gift.
This image will be available as a Fine Art Giclée Canvas Print.

“The Postcard Series – Amaryllis”

Insight New Mexico 2015

The Postcard Series – Amaryllis

Amaryllis – bringing life, colorful life, indoors in the winter. These flowers hold the promise of spring, while being beautiful in the present. Postcards – old postcards, saved postcards, speak to memories of the past. Past travels? Past good times with old friends? Memories of things that made us who we are? The Postcard series combines memories of the past with beauty of the present. But, beautiful flowers do not last forever. What of the future? That is for the viewer to determine…
This image will be available as a Fine Art Giclée Bamboo Watercolor Print.

The exhibit will be held in the Fine Arts Building at Expo New Mexico (the New Mexico State Fairgrounds) from April 5th through April 26th. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday (closed on Mondays) from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The cost to see the exhibit is free.

I hope to see my friends from the Albuquerque area there.

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.

07/7/12

Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno peppers, and peppers of all kinds, are a staple in the Southwest. This year I decided to try growing a couple of varieties of jalapenos because

    I love the flavor they add to all kinds of dishes, and
    I prefer the milder ones to the hotter ones.

That is, I like flavor, which to me is lost if the heat burns.

One jalapeno pepper I am growing this year is ‘False Alarm Hybrid.’ Burpee describes ‘False Alarm’ this way:

Very mild 3″ long sweet jalapeno for small pots and gardens; bears heavy yields on 18″ tall plants. Excellent flavor.

'false alarm hybrid' jalapeno pepper

‘False Alarm Hybrid’ jalapeno pepper

I have to say, I agree completely with that description. These peppers have a nice thick wall; the plant produces abundantly; and these jalapeno peppers are mild but tasty. This is a jalapeno pepper I imagine I will be growing year after year. It is pretty to look at and tasty to eat. I may have to try some stuffed jalapenos this weekend! 🙂 (I’ve already had nachos.)

The other jalapeno pepper I tried this year is ‘Sweet Heat Hybrid,’ described by Burpee as

A perfectly calibrated blend of sweetness and heat. . .13″ tall plants bear 3.5×1.5″ fruit.

'sweet heat hybrid' jalapeno peppers

‘Sweet Heat Hybrid’ jalapeno peppers

As you can see, this compact little plant is a prolific producer. It is early in the growing season, and I’ll revisit what I am about to say here later in the fall. I will say now I do like the flavor of this jalapeno. The plant is nice and compact, sets fruit even at days of 100 F, and appears to be very healthy. The one thing I do not like is that the peppers are very thin-walled. Again, I am hoping this improves as the season progresses, because there are many nice things about this pepper.

Jalapeno peppers – these small ones can be a very nice addition to container gardening in the desert Southwest.

07/5/12

Solar Cooking Day 2

Solar Cooking Day 2 – Pot Roast

Solar cooking or cooking with a solar oven requires sunshine. Last week I cooked pork chops, and this week I wanted to try a pot roast. I am cooking with the SOS Sport solar oven.

This summer has been very hot and dry, making for a very bad wildfire season in the Southwest. But, last weekend, the forecast for this week called for monsoonal flows to begin on Wednesday (July 4), and perhaps last into the coming weekend. In looking at the forecast, it appeared that Tuesday (July 3) would be the best day of the week to try the pot roast.

I did the shopping on Monday, because I’ve already read enough to know that if whole meals, such as I am trying to prepare, are going to cook successfully in a solar oven, everything needs to go into a preheated oven no later than 10:00 am. Cross rib roast was on sale, as were red potatoes, carrots, and sweet onions. Great! That seemed auspicious.

By 9:00 am on Tuesday, I had the SOS Sport solar oven out on the patio, preheating. Inside, I was doing the food preparation.

Beef pot roast ingredients for solar cooking

Beef pot roast ingredients

Because of the quantity of food involved, I decided to split the ingredients in half and use two pots. Some recipes suggest cooking the meat in one pot, and the vegetables in the other. But part of what makes pot roast so good is the flavor of the vegetables cooked in the beef broth. So, I put half the meat and half the vegetables together in each pot. I brushed the top of the meat with Tamari and then added fresh-ground pepper. That was the only seasoning I used, because I was pretty liberal with fresh garlic and a lot of sweet onion. This is what the pots looked like at the end of prepping.

Ingredients ready for solar cooking of pot roast

Ingredients ready for solar cooking of pot roast

The oven was up to 235 F.

Oven preheated for solar cooking

Oven preheated for solar cooking

The first time I used the Sport oven, I had a hard time with the clips used to fasten the lid to the oven. I thought it was just my hands. In reading, I found a lot of people had trouble with them, and someone suggested the large paper clips (clamp style). So, I decided to try that, and I cannot begin to say how much easier that made things!!!

Solar cooking with SOS Sport, using paper clip clamps in place of clips

Solar cooking with SOS Sport, using paper clip clamps in place of clips

Continue reading

07/4/12

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to everyone in the United States! What a great Holiday here in the middle of summer.

The Southwest remains gripped by extreme drought, although the monsoons are said to be upon us. Albuquerque has had spot rains on July 1 and 2, but the rain was extremely spotty. The afternoon of July 3 I got 3/8″ at my house, for which I am extremely grateful! The forecast is for more rain the remainder of this week.

The extreme drought really does make the use of fireworks for celebration unsafe for celebrating Independence Day, here in this part of the country. 2012 has been a terrible year for wildfires in New Mexico (the largest ever in the history of New Mexico, the Whitewater Baldy Complex is about over, but it burned 297,000+ acres [the largest previous was last year’s Las Conchas fire at 156,000+ acres]); in Colorado; in Utah; and elsewhere.

Last year, on July 4, a gladiolus bloomed that I thought had all the spirit of fireworks. I do not know the name of that gladiolus, but much to my delight, it is blooming again just in time for the 2012 Independence Day celebration! I will give it the nickname, ‘Independence Day.’ This photograph was taken July 3, 2012. I hope you enjoy the beauty of this gladiolus.

gladiolus for indepemdemce day

Happy Independence Day! Bright gladiolus in place of fireworks this year!

And I hope you have a safe and joyful Fourth of July, celebrating our Independence Day!