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.

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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

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Miniature rose, ‘Climbing Earthquake’

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Old Garden Rose, Hybrid bracteata 1918
Mermaid

spring and roses

Miniature Rose ‘Marriotta.’

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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!

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09/13/16

Old Photos

Old Photos

Going back through old photos can be a bit of a challenge and also an interesting reminder of what once was. These images were made with the first digital camera I owned, a Nikon Coolpix 4300. Everything was on Automatic, including the flash. 🙂 That camera died after years of good use, and shortly after these images were made. I had purchased it for the sole purpose of photographing roses I judged at rose shows.

This slide show is made of images taken in June, 2008 at an ARS Rose Judging Seminar in Palm Springs, California. A lot of the same people are around today, but the overall atmosphere, goals, principles, and values of the District where this was held are palpably different.

If you prefer looking at individual images rather than a slide show, the Gallery is here.

This post will ultimately scroll off the front page, so I have also posted the video on the “People” page of this website.

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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.

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04/18/16

Toss Those PSWD Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography

Rose Photography Has New Guidelines, The ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography

When the Board of the American Rose Society (ARS) approved the new Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography in Syracuse in September 2015, the PSWD Guidelines became obsolete. When I wrote the PSWD Guidelines, with considerable input from Sally Long, the goal was to ultimately have standardized, national guidelines. The new guidelines, written by the ARS Photography Committee, chaired by Curtis Aumiller, have been officially approved and replace everything that came before. This will not be an issue for Districts that have never had guidelines for photography, but it could be confusing for anyone who continues to use the now-outdated PSWD Guidelines. They are as outdated as rotary phones and party lines in this era of cell phones.

Some people are confused by the fact the ARS guidelines were approved as “temporary” and think that means “optional.” The Committee requested temporary approval so that the guidelines could be used and feedback obtained about changes people would like to see. A show committee never has to use ARS rules unless ARS awards are going to be given. This includes even the little ribbons for 1st-4th places. Show committees are used to this when writing schedules for Horticulture and Arrangements. Now the new Guidelines for Photography need to be followed in the same manner if ARS awards are to be given. ARS members may download the Guidelines here.

If your District has now appointed a District Chairman for Photography, feel free to address your photography schedule questions to that person, as well as to the ARS Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller (caumiller[at]yahoo.com). The current PSWD Chairman of Photography is Sally Long. If your District does not have a Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller and the ARS Photography Committee are ready to assist you with your schedule and other questions.

A transition from one set of guidelines to the new ARS guidelines will not be a problem for people who have never had guidelines. The PSWD Guidelines are ubiquitous in that district, and are found elsewhere when people have seen what was done here. It is for people who have used the old guidelines and know them well that I am doing a series, of which this is the first post, that explains what is the same, what is different, what is new.

The Score Card in the ARS Guidelines is unchanged. 🙂

Subsequent posts will address some new additions and some very important changes that judges and exhibitors alike need to know. Stay tuned.

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03/13/15
finding beauty

Finding Beauty

Finding Beauty in the Unexpected: More Rose Hips

Finding beauty. What is beauty, anyway? And who gets to decide what it is? Beauty, of course, “is in the eye of the beholder,” and there may be as many definitions as there are beholders.

This year I have spent more time than ever looking at rose hips and spent blooms on roses in the yard than ever in the past. Maybe that is because the weather has been so beautiful, and yet I am not ready to prune the roses. Maybe it is because I have had the time to photograph them, and have found them interesting subjects. No matter why I have looked at them more, one thing is certain: I have learned a lot more about them than I knew before, such as there is such wide variability between varieties; each variety is pretty distinctive in its hip expression; all have their own unique form of beauty. I will admit that finding beauty sometimes took a little looking, however.

I think the one hip I found most beautiful from the very beginning was this one on ‘Fourth of July.’

finding beauty

Hip of climbing rose, ‘Fourth of July’

Others are intrinsically interesting, especially in juxtaposition with new leaves beginning to emerge. This one is the hybrid rugosa, ‘Buffalo Gal:’

finding beauty

Hip and emerging leaves on hybrid rugosa, ‘Buffalo Gal’

And, for some, you may have to work just a bit harder at finding beauty. This is a hip of the Austin rose, ‘Othello,’ a beautiful rose with a fabulous scent. To be honest, I was amazed when I saw these hips. I have had the rose for some time, a gift, but this is the first year I ever “saw” these hips. It was an eye-opening experience! 🙂 )))))))))

finding beauty

Hip of Austin rose, ‘Othello

Once I actually do prune the roses, watch for it, you know it’s coming, get ready – a gallery of the 2014-2015 rose hips collection from my very small yard!

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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.

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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

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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.

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07/10/13

Rose Mermaid – 2013 Spring Bloom Comes to an End

Rose Mermaid

‘Mermaid’s’ 2013 spring bloom was beautiful and amazing. She had more blossoms than ever before, and virtually no thrip problems. She won the American Rose Society’s Victorian Award at the Albuquerque Rose Society’s Spring Show, and Best of Show (Horticulture) at the Albuquerque Council of Garden Clubs Spring Show. But, more than the awards, she was just a joy to behold in the yard and on the patio.

Mermaid can be an aggressive grower, and the last major blooming branch was headed into the patio. This is not particularly desirable, because she has many very prickly thorns. People only half-jokingly say that she will attack anyone or anything that comes close. But, I left this branch until the last bloom was gone.

rose mermaid

‘Mermaid’ on July 4

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‘Mermaid’ July 10, 2013

This rose is interesting to view, even when the gorgeous, creamy fresh blooms are gone. The stamens, bright golden with pollen when they are fresh, hold interest for long after.

rose stamens

Two-day-old center with stamens

‘Mermaid’ seems to be tolerating the Southwest’s extreme drought and summer heat very well. Although the first flush of blooms is now over, she is already putting out new growth everywhere!

rose mermaid

New growth on ‘Mermaid’

rose mermaid

More new growth

At the rate this beauty grows, it will not be long until there are new blossoms!

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