Interview with photographer judywhite

Jjudywhite's stellar snapshot of a great spangled fritillary and a Peck's skipper on a purple coneflower appeared in the July issue of Birds & Blooms Extra. Image © (all rights reserved)There's a very interesting new interview with award-winning photographer judywhite over on the Birds & Blooms blog. She talks about the surprising journey from studying cell biology to becoming such an accomplished photographer, and then about another more recent turn from there. She's a great example of "you can do anything if you put your mind to it".

judy also describes the intensity and thinking ahead involved in taking good pictures and shares some advice to which we should all pay attention. And she explains why her name is all one word. It's well worth a look.

Birds and Blooms is a splendid American magazine, the title neatly explains exactly what it's about, and it always features excellent photography.

[Declaration of interest: judywhite is my wife!]

Hellebore slide show - 168 pictures!

Hellebore Stock Photos Helleborus - Images by GardenPhotos .com

Now that it's hellebore season, or soon will be, time to present a slide show of 168 images (with more being added) of hellebores of all kinds, from our collection. This is just a small proportion of the huge number of hellebore images we have on file. Hover your mouse point over the images to see the captions.

So enjoy this look at our hellebores - and remember that licenses to use these images in print or on line are available. Just email us.

Enjoy the show!

Quiet color in the snowy garden

Hakonechloa,Kolkwitzia,judywhite,,snow,garden. Image © (all rights reserved)
And here’s one of judy’s images from yesterday’s shoot in the garden.

In front, the biscuit brown stems and foliage of Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’ look so warm against the snow in spite of their coating of ice. And behind, the arching branches of the variegated beauty bush, Kolkwitzia amabilis Dream Catcher (‘Maradco’) make a statement that is both bold and soft at the same time.

At the top, a last fiery pair of leaves cling to the shoots of one of the dark-leaved ninebarks, Physocarpus opulifolius Coppertina (‘Mindia’), known in Europe as Diable d’Or.

Not a flower to be seen (the hellebores that opened in November are under there somewhere), hardly a leaf, and most of the plants very definitely dormant. But still a quietly colorful and intriguing garden.

Shooting in the snow

judywhite,,snow,garden. Image © (all rights reserved)
Back from England’s coldest winter since, it’s said, 1890-something and from a double dose of the flu, I looked outside my window to find judy doing the honorable thing: shooting the garden with its cover of snow and with the icy lacing of frost on every twig and branch.

With rain, mist or drizzle in the air and the temperature just below freezing, every surface – including the driveway and steps, of course– becomes covered in ice and, looks classically wintery. But step outside, and it’s no fun at all.

But this is the moment to get out with a camera and capture it.

Just too ugly to grow

Echinacea,coneflower,Doubledecker,ugly. Image © (all rights reserved) Some plants are just so ugly that you want to chop their heads off.

Look at this echinacea. What a mess! Such an ugly tangle of petals it disgraces the name coneflower. It’s the perversion of simplicity that so often make me want to reach for the shears. We all know the simple and elegant daisy shape of Echinacea purpurea, the purple coneflower. And this is what is said to be an improvement.

To be fair, Echinacea purpurea ‘Doubledecker’ (left, click to enlarge) is not supposed to Echinacea,coneflower,Doubledecker,ugly. Image ©Perennial Resource, (all rights reserved)be like this. It’s supposed to be like this (right, click to enlarge) – which I have to say is  not much better - but in all the years I’ve been growing it these horrid messy tangles have dominated ten to one.

Then there’s daffodils ('Jersey Torch', in case you want to avoid them). Isn’t this a Narcissus,daffodil,Jersey Torch,ugly. Image © (all rights reserved)horror? (left, click to enlarge – if you dare). Takes all the elegance away. You’ll never see these “Tossing their heads in sprightly dance,” as  William Wordsworth put it, as he “wandered lonely as a cloud”. The heads are so heavy with all those extra mangled petals that they’re more likely to simply hit the ground when it rains and never stand up. These don’t “flash upon that inward eye, Which is the bliss of solitude” – they make we want to reach for a long cane so I can swish their heads off.

And then... just today… This hibiscus opened in the garden, Hibiscus Sugar Tip (‘America Irene Scott’), a variegated sport of the popular ‘Lady Stanley’. Its neatly edged foliage is quite Hibiscus,Sugar Tip,America Irene Scott. Image © (all rights reserved) attractive and I was looking forward to a single rose pink flower, perhaps. Instead of which we get this pasty mess like a wrung out dish cloth. Well, now I’ve taken its picture I can cut the flowers off.

But don’t think I hate double flowers. There are some lovely double echinaceas and even at least one double daffodil that I’ve grown and enjoyed.

But these are just too much. Off with their heads!

Great advice on macro photography - from the expert

ALD_080311-002 Macro photography wizard Alan Detrick, author of Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers, now has a series of podcasts available from his publisher, Timber Press, in which he reveals how to take great close-up images.

He discusses techniques and equipment and ways to think about macro photography in the accessible way that he’s developed in years of teaching photography workshops.

Well worth a listen, it comes in six parts. Just click to listen.

Alan Detrick’s macro photography podcast – part one

Alan Detrick’s macro photography podcast – part two

Alan Detrick’s macro photography podcast – part three

Alan Detrick’s macro photography podcast – part four

Alan Detrick’s macro photography podcast – part five

Alan Detrick’s macro photography podcast – part six

And check out Alan's fascinating blog, which is packed with good advice, plus the gorgeous macro images on his website.

And be sure to enter the Timber Press drawing to win one of Alan's pictures.

And of course you can order the book.

In North America order Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers from

In Britain order Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers from