Dusk in the Garden

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Russell Hybrids' Lupines with 'Fireglow' Euphorbia

I’ve been a big fan of nearly dark photography for a long time. A couple of days ago Brian and I headed out to enjoy our garden after our usual late dinner. We didn’t get far, as the view from our driveway compelled me to run to the studio and grab my camera.

These ‘Russell Hybrids’ lupines, paired with ‘Fireglow’ euphorbia, are right in front of the house. The red-orange euphorbia came with the house when we moved in, but Natalie started the lupines from seed and planted them out a few years ago. They self-seed as well as being perennials, so we continue to enjoy the combo each spring.

'Russell Hybrids' Lupines with 'Fireglow' Euphorbia

Stepping back a little shows the road in front of the house, too. As photographers, we’re always thinking about what to include in the frame and what to leave out. The story these two photos tell is different. One implies a private garden world far from any road. The other says “front yard” and “passers-by can enjoy this.”

European Columbine

European columbine, Aquilegia vulgaris, can be a rampantly spreading thug in the garden, but it’s so pretty when it blooms that we let them have their way (within reason). We have masses along the driveway.

European Columbine

Here, the columbine frames the euphorbia and lupines we saw in the first photo. But now the pieces are put into context.

As you’re out taking pictures of your garden, or anything for that matter, do you think about what you’re including in the frame? The relationship of your main subject to whatever else might be in the background? It’s all part of the process of going from snapshot to photograph.

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