Gardening Corner: Becky’s flower photos changed how I look at my garden


BRANDON—My cousin Becky visits Vermont with her family often. These photos were taken in a single afternoon in Brandon using her iPhone 8’s camera. She came to photograph flowers by accident. She was on a trip with her family, took a photo, and decided to use it as a screenshot. 

“When I saw the flower close up, I realized there was way more that I could see in this picture now than when I was taking it,” she said. “I got so curious about flowers after that. I knew that my camera was showing me things at a different level. I discovered flowers within flowers and that was amazing. I started to zoom in.”

One of Becky’s favorite photos is of a gaillardia, also called a blanket flower. It’s native to North America, blooms its heart out, grows in zone 3, but it is short lived.  It liberally self-sows but I kept losing them and having to buy another plant. Gardeners reading this are saying “you weeded them out, didn’t you?” Of course I did. They come up in great numbers, looking like a common weed. So, here’s my advice for this column: dedicate a spot in your garden for the blanket flower to live and re-seed.  And I think I’d better add a big sign to mine that says “The Cinderella Flower” or I’ll forget what is there and dig all those “weeds” out. 

Becky loves the picture because she loves the connections and harmony of the flower with the honeybee.  When you remove the flower from its background, as Becky has done here, it’s a painting.

Becky’s second-favorite photo is of the purple liatris. I feel like it’s something you’d see underwater in the ocean, like a sea anemone. My photography has changed the way I look at nature. I used to walk by, but now I stop and appreciate the beauty, complexity, colors, and patterns.  I love that I see so many connections and similarities with things I see in the ocean. It’s really got me thinking.

Becky’s Favorite New Photo 

“What I like about my phone’s camera is that you can make adjustments to the actual picture as you are taking it or just after. It’s very immediate, easy, and satisfying. So, my favorite recent picture is this lighthouse. After I had taken it, I realized that I didn’t like the city buildings in the background. I was able to zoom in, recenter, and omit the buildings in the picture and adjust to my liking without any fancy app. As you see, the lighthouse is on a small island and it’s just there all by itself and that’s what I liked about it, that it is just very calming, every time I look at it. For me, if people just want to get away and you want peace, this picture could be what you had in mind. Sometimes you just have to get away from the fast-paced environment around us. You want to be able to de-stress. A picture, a memory can do this.”  

Queen Anne’s Lace unopened

Becky’s recommendations

Anyone with a mobile phone can do this. 

Using your fingers to zoom in works the best.

Cell phones can blur closeups, so make sure you zoom, then tap your phone’s screen again, and it will refocus on the zoomed in area.  Wait for the picture to refocus before you take the picture.

Play with your photos and use your zoom function and you can do this even after you’ve taken pictures and gone home. 

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