Photographing Roses

Photographing Roses for ARS Rose Shows: Understanding and Using the 2017 Guidelines and Rules for Judging Rose Photography

Photographing roses is where I got my start in digital photography, beginning in 2004. I’ve gone on to do many different things with photography. However, I have maintained an interest in roses. Because I set out in 2008 to develop guidelines for photography in rose shows, I have been especially gratified to see ARS (American Rose Society) Guidelines and Rules for Judging Rose Photography approved by the Board of Directors in September 2017. My work was first presented to the ARS in 2010, in that year’s Rose Annual.

While this 2017 endpoint required a winding, rocky path, I want to make using the Guidelines as easy as possible for exhibitors and judges in our shows. Therefore, I have prepared PowerPoint presentations for exhibitors, judges, and others. I have posted them here, where I will probably leave them until the new ARS Photography Committee to be appointed in 2018 makes significant changes to the Guidelines.

To view in full screen mode, click on the icon at the lower right corner of the presentation.

Finally, rose photography should be fun. The ARS Photography Chairman or your District Chairman of Photography will be happy to help you navigate the Guidelines.


Sunflowers of Summer

Sunflowers – a friend says they have PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). It is hard not to smile around sunflowers. That may be especially true with a gorgeous New Mexico sky as a background. Enjoy.

Multiple bees are very busy on these!


Colorful Sunflowers and Busy Bees

This stalk is very tall, and I cannot see what the face of this sunflower looks like. It certainly looks interesting from the base, looking up. I am anxious for the buds to open so I can see what this particular flower really looks like.


TALL Sunflower


Colorful Sunflower

ARS photo competitions

New PowerPoint Presentation

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

New PowerPoint Presentation: How to Mount and Mat an 8×10 Photo for an ARS Rose Show

This new PowerPoint presentation is actually an updated version of one I did last year. At the time, I posted it as a pdf file and also as a Kindle at Amazon. However, I have reworked it into a smaller file that can be posted as a PowerPoint presentation on this blog. You may download and repost this PowerPoint, as long as you give a credit line.

This guide for mounting and matting an image applies only to photographs for exhibition in rose shows. These typically last only one or two days, and exhibitors then take the photographs home. They generally are not for sale. The photographs at a rose show are for short-term display, and the suggestions here reflect that. The suggestions here are not suggestions for how to mount and mat photographs in general, or for any purpose other than display in rose shows, and then only those whose schedules call for the photograph to be mounted and matted with outside dimensions of 11×14 inches.

I hope my rose friends find it useful.

I have added a new page to this blog, Rose Photography Presentations, with two sub-pages. One will contain more PowerPoint presentations as I complete them. The other contains images, handouts, and two of the PowerPoints from the summing up Photography Judging Seminar held in 2012. I keep it here as an archive of the birth of photography in the PSWD.


The Simple Onion, an Allium

The Simple Onion

The simple onion, like many things in Nature, covers its complexity with an appearance of simplicity. It belongs to the genus Allium, which includes other things such as garlic and chives.

Especially relevant after the busy-ness of a holiday, a little simplicity the next day can be relaxing. My neighbors, organic gardeners, grew this beautiful little allium.


The “Simple” Onion, an Allium

Summing up, this quote from Sir Isaac Newton applies to many aspects of Nature:

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.” ~ Isaac Newton

Finally, photographing this photogenic allium was simple fun. It presented a different challenge from my usual flower photos. I thank my neighbors for leaving it in place long enough for me to photograph it!

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day 2017

Independence Day 2017

Independence Day 2017: A rose and wish for my friends in the USA:

Independence Day 2017

Happy Independence Day 2017

And, for friends who might want to know, this is the miniature rose ‘Tammy Clemons.’ David Clemons hybridized this beauty.

Finally, wishing everyone have a safe and joyful Fourth, no matter where you are or how you are spending your day!


Some Gardening Benefits

Ed Note: This post on some of the benefits of gardening was submitted by Maria Cannon, one of our readers. Thank you, Maria.

Help Relieve Depression Through Backyard Gardening by Maria Cannon

Some gardening benefits – As someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety, I have managed to channel those issues through hobbies like quilting, sewing and knitting. But several years ago I took up gardening and it was therapeutic in a different way from my other hobbies. Being outside, digging in the dirt, and being able to watch the progression of my work each spring offers a boost that I feel physically and mentally.

In some ways, you spend most of your time in a box. Think about it. You wake in your house, go straight to your car, head into a building, go back into your car, and head into your home. Spending all that time indoors can be surprisingly tiring.

That’s because you’re a natural organism. Humans evolved in nature, so when people are deprived of it, they suffer. Sure, there’s the physical health problems of poor air quality and sick building syndrome. But there’s also the mental health problems of depression and stressors.

New research is starting to show a surprising cure for both physical and mental health problems: gardening. It’s a way to get outside and be with nature, but it’s controlled and something almost anyone can do at home. Believe it or not, you can help fight depression by building a garden in your backyard.

Continue reading

Price Garden Corrales

The Price Garden, Corrales

The Price Garden, Corrales

The Price Garden in Corrales is as interesting and as beautiful as the Rio Grande bosque on which it is located. Those of you who read my other blog, Susan Brandt Graham Photography, know how much I love to photograph there. Gardening on their property presents benefits and challenges that are different from those in the NE Heights sections of Albuquerque. On the positive side, given its location along the Rio Grande, the water table is not so far from the surface. They have irrigation access, a part of the old New Mexico acequias system. Those of you who read Tim’s blog, Off Center and Not Even, know that he often is up in the middle of the night to open the gates and later to close them. Sometimes there is adequate water, sometimes there isn’t. More challenging, at least in my opinion, are the temperature extremes at night, especially in the winter. “Cold air sinks,”and that is readily observable at their home. I always keep a jacket handy, even in summer, if I plan to be there in the evening. Winter nighttime temps are often 20 degrees colder than at my home. In other places I have discussed the microclimates and environments of the area, and the abundance of Dr Huey roses in Corrales. With a lot of hard work, Tim and Laurie have a beautiful garden that fits well into the natural landscape. I was fortunate to be able to photograph it twice in May, 2017. These are just a few of the images.

Price Garden Corrales

Colorful Beauty

Price Garden Corrales

Garden Study in Orange

Price Garen Corrales

David Austin Rose

Price Garden Corrales

Betty Boop, Fourth of July, and Purple Salvia against Adobe Wall

Price Garden Corrales

Rose ‘Ballerina,’ a very hardy hybrid musk

Price Garden Corrales

Rose ‘Ballerina,’ a very hardy hybrid musk

Price Garden Corrales

Rose ‘Ballerina,’ a Very Hardy Hybrid Musk

Price Garden Corrales

Price Garden, Roses

Price Garden Corrales

Price Garden, Peonies

Price Garden Corrales

Price Garden, Dr Huey, Bamboo, iris, gorgeous light!

This just a glimpse at the Price Garden, and over time I will post more images of their wonderful, peaceful, inviting garden. This is the best of natural, sustainable gardening in a very challenging spot in the Desert Southwest, Corrales in the bosque. I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour.

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