05/26/17
memorial day

Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day 2017

memorial day

Memorial Day 2017, with Miniature Rose ‘Ruby Baby’

For Memorial Day 2017, I wanted to create an image that reflected the meaning of the day, I thought about how to combine elements. First of all, I wanted red, white, and blue. I wanted a red rose to be a major element. Most of all, I wanted the connection to the meaning of the day to be clear.

The image is a composite with multiple layers, composited to reflect the meaning of this special day at many levels. The red rose is the miniature, ‘Ruby Baby.’ The tombstone is from the cemetery of an old New Mexico church. The sky is…well, the beautiful sky.

Wishing you peace on this special weekend, a time for quiet reflection.

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05/22/17
spring 2017 roses

Spring 2017 Roses

Spring 2017 Roses

Spring 2017 Roses is a small collection of images of roses mainly grown by me. ‘Austrian Copper,’ the species rose R. foetida bicolor, was grown by Tim and Laurie Price. If you wish to see any of the images at a larger size, click on the image.
You may also watch a slideshow containing these and other images.
Additional post will be made throughout the season.
I hope you enjoy the varied beauty of the roses.

Miniature Rose, ‘Incognito,’ after a gentle overnight rain
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Incognito'

Species Rose, R. foetida bicolor, grown by Tim and Laurie Price
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Austrian Copper'

Spray of shrub rose, ‘Route 66’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Route 66'

Spray of miniature rose, ‘Bees Knees’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Bees Knees'

Shrub rose, ‘Pike’s Peak’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Pike's Peak'

Shrub rose, ‘Othello’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Othello'

Miniature rose, ‘Spring Fling’
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Spring Fling'

Floribunda rose, ‘Betty Boop.’ Rose shows now frequently have a class for “Rose Art,” and very often what you will see are images that use photoshop filters or other editing that leads to the destruction or loss of beauty of the rose itself. I want to show that images can be greatly edited, and/or enhanced, without destroying the integrity or the beauty of the rose.
Susan Brandt Graham Photography: Spring 2017 Roses &emdash; Rose 'Betty Boop'

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04/26/17
gardening challenge

Gardening Challenge Coming

Gardening Challenge Coming

A gardening challenge in the way of a very late and possibly hard freeze this weekend is headed to the Albuquerque area. The “average frost free date” for much of the time I have been here has hovered around April 15. Late freezes are not entirely unknown, however. We had a hard freeze in May of 2005. An Arrangement School was held at the same time as the Albuquerque Rose Show at the end of May. I still smile at the number of “Betty Boop” roses featured in rose arrangements that year, as well as in the show itself. That happened before we had rose photography in our rose shows. Floral photography does allow shows to thrive even with all the challenges of gardening.

This year, many of my roses have bloomed earlier than usual. However, I have a couple that I have babied that will be damaged by a hard freeze now. I’m also a little worried about the developing peaches and pears in my yard. I’ll keep an eye on the forecast and see what I can do to protect some of the plants.

Tim and Laurie, whom many of you know, face more difficult and frequent challenges in their gardening in Corrales, along the banks of the Rio Grande. However, once the freezes end in the spring, their property is full of lush floral growth.

These following images are from their yard in mid-May of 2016.

gardening challenge

Beautiful Climbing Roses

gardening challenge

Iris

gardening challenge

More Iris

gardening challenge

Even More Iris

gardening challenge

Even More Beautiful Iris

For those in the Albuquerque area, watch the weather forecasts. Good luck with your tender plants if the late hard freeze really happens.

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04/22/17
friends

Friends

Friends

“Friends are the siblings God never gave us” ~ Mencius

friends

“Friends” – Rose ‘Marmalade Skies’

Continuing a series of individual rose images, the rose featured today is the floribunda, ‘Marmalade Skies.’ It is capable of making large sprays, as well as blooms that briefly have the exhibition form of hybrid teas. The color is wonderful for rose arrangers. It definitely stands out across a room.

The roses in my yard are definitely ahead of schedule this year. I am enjoying them while they are blooming, because it may be fall before they have another good bloom cycle.

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04/20/17
rose distant drums

A Garden to Walk In

A Garden to Walk In

A garden to walk in…The roses in my yard are about three weeks ahead of time this year, compared to when I first came to Albuquerque. I’m definitely enjoying them now. This rose is a shrub rose, ‘Distant Drums.’ It has a wonderful fragrance, along with unique color.

rose distant drums

‘Distant Drums’

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04/19/17
Route 66

Route 66 In Albuquerque

Route 66 in Albuquerque

Route 66 in Albuquerque may make you think of many things. In addition to “those”things, “Route 66″is a shrub rose that can be spectacular in early spring. The color, when fresh, is dark mauve, and the bloom has bright golden stamens. Another plus for this rose is a fabulous scent. It blooms intermittently throughout the summer. It is at its most glorious at its first bloom. An added bonus here is a little Lady Bug.

Route 66

Shrub Rose “Route 66”

Route 66

“Route 66” with Lady Bug

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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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03/4/17
house finch

House Finch in Breeding Plumage

House Finch in Breeding Plumage, on Rose ‘Mermaid’

house finch

House Finch in Breeding Plumage, on Rose ‘Mermaid’

The house finch is a very common backyard bird here in Albuquerque. During breeding season, the males take on a much more colorful plumage. This guy seems pretty pleased with himself.

He is sitting on a branch of ‘Mermaid,’ a hybrid bracteata introduced in the US in 1918. Regular readers will recognize it as one of my favorite roses. I have hung a cylinder feeder near it, and any birds hang out on ‘Mermaid’ as they wait their turn at the feeder.

Roses are beginning to leaf out. ‘Mermaid’ is the one rose I cut back in the fall, for reasons I have explained multiple time over the years on this blog. So, I can just watch it leaf out and then bloom a little later.

The other roses, however, are leafing out a little earlier than I would like, and I will be pruning them soon. Hopefully, it will be safe… One year, before I knew anything about roses in Albuquerque, I pruned in February! I had one of the best spring blooms ever that year! But, I also recall 2005, when I pruned in early April and did not fertilize until late April. We got a hard freeze in May, which pretty much wiped out the spring bloom here. That was a freak occurrence, but in the time of climate change, who knows?

Nevertheless, I am ready to begin pruning roses, and will hope for the best.

I will also enjoy the birds that come to the yard. 🙂

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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

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!

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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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