A Closer Look


“The country habit has me by the heart,
For he’s bewitched forever who has seen,
Not with his eyes but with his vision, Spring
Flow down the woods and stipple leaves with sun.”
–  Vita Sackville-West


Maybe it is because of the long, gray winter or maybe it is because of the bleak, cold rainy spring, but for some reason this gardening season I have been drawn to the light.  With camera in hand, I wander the garden looking for the unusual shots of flowers brightened by sun light at different times of the day, or blooms translucent from the light streaming through.  And it has been this way from the moment the first crocus popped up.  As you can see above, I was able to capture the light as it played on and through these flowers creating shadows and brightness.

So when Gardening Gone Wild announced their May Picture This Photo Contest, I was intrigued.  When I saw it was all about close up shots and using light, I knew I had to enter.  The dilemma is which photo to enter.


This late blooming amaryllis stands against the French doors in the kitchen.  One day I turned and say the light streaming through the petals and grabbed the camera to take these shots progressing from close, to closer to macro.  I am very partial to these shots, but I really like the crocus pictured above too.


The purple crocuses here were shot with me laying on the ground.  Definitely a normal position for me these days if I am wanting to capture what the rabbits see.  The red/pink tulip is an obsession.  Every year these little tulips come up under my dwarf willow.  As the willow leafs out, the light plays with the colors of the tulips.  I think I took at least 200 pictures from every angle, and from bud to bloom.  The choice is not getting any easier.


Another favorite, this tulip changes colors as it ages.  I am drawn to the darkness within the very peachy flowers in their early stages.  Then as they age and turn pale pink, the light shines through them as if they are almost transparent.  These tulips are under the other dwarf willow just across the front walk.  Both the peach and red tulips were planted for me to see from inside the house.


So there they are, just a few of the pictures I have taken that could be entered into the contest.  We are told by the judge, Alan Detrick, ‘There is no set of rules when it comes to lighting. Each subject should be considered with the lighting conditions in order to produce the most visually pleasing image. Paying critical attention to the light is an essential element in creating that “magical” image.’

Then I found this wonderful quote….

“The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
–   Marcel Proust


So as I am seeing my flowers this year in a new light with new eyes, the choice for the “magical moment” would have to be….

Hope you like my choice!!


Thought I would also visit Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday and flaunt my  closer look “light” images…

Special Note: Monthly around this time (usually the 10th) I guest blog at Walkabout Chronicles.  I hope you can join me for my most recent post and interview.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.
All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.



56 Replies to “A Closer Look”

  1. Lots of luscious photos Donna, I see how it must have been hard to choose a submission – new eyes are a wonderful thing, purchased at the price of a long miserable winter 🙂

      1. Thank you for the compliment, Donna, but I have never finished even in the ones that are mentioned. Hope you do! Your shot pops with color and was taken in pretty lighting.

        1. I have been shocked that some of your photos don’t win…they really are quite stunning….mine here was an act of God really….took pictures of the crocuses earlier in the day in shade and on my last go around the garden as the southwest light was high in the early spring sky, it was a wonderful sight I tried to capture as the light streamed right through them.

    1. I am so glad you liked it and agree on my choice..that means a lot coming from a master photographer who takes incredible macro shots…

  2. Thank you for the comment instructions … I didn’t know how. Your photos are beautiful! I love your choice. The petals seem to be dancing, reaching for the sun. Where you found such beautiful light with all this rain is a wonder.

    1. I am so glad you were able to comment…and I love how the picture spoke to you ….we had a couple of days there back in late March early April where we actually had sun…you folks up N have had it much worse…

  3. Donna, I am stunned by the beauty of your photographs. I so agree, that the beauty of the landscape and flowers is so much about the reflections of light. I like your choice – beautiful as all your photos are, the crocus really captured me.

    1. I am so glad Sheila you liked the choice and that it captured you…I know I made the right choice then…I even can find beauty in some flowers on a cloudy day as they stand stark and on their own with only the true colors showing…but light is the fun one to capture!

    1. Oh I am still learning too….I am a point and click person with my auto digital camera but I have begun to learn a few tricks through all the wonderful blogs…your photos are beautiful as well…glad you agree on the choice!

    1. Coming from an incredible artist with her camera that means a lot Cat…the crocus this year were hard to resist and easy to capture…thx

  4. Your crocuses (and everything) are lovely! I also particularily love your tulips. The colours go really well together!

    1. Diane thank you…coming from someone with gorgeous tulips in her garden I know they must be wonderful. Now if I could only get my gardens to be as neat looking as yours….stop by any time for a visit…

  5. Wonderful photos. I do like your choice, and I love the quote!

    I am always taken by the transformation that happens in my garden when the light shines through, creating some truly magical, if fleeting, moments. Good luck with the contest. i wish I had time to enter some of these contests. It would be fun!

    1. Thx…Deb I too am struck by the light in the garden which I think is why I get so distracted these days. I rarely enter but since I knew I had the shots, well I took the chance…pretty easy to enter if you love taking pictures of your garden

  6. All your photos are just stunning. Your choice shot is definitely a beauty though. So many beautiful flower shots!

  7. I really, really liked the close up of the amarylis, but then I saw the crocus you chose to enter and it is perfect! They’re all such beautiful pictures, I don’t know how you managed to pick. Good luck!

    1. Shannon I almost chose the amaryllis too, but something about that crocus just spoke to me and apparently to you too…thx

  8. I always LOVE your pictures and these are all gorgeous! I think you chose well, but I’m partial to the ‘close’ image of the Amaryllis…beautiful flower! Thanks for sharing!

  9. I liked your choice, but I really don’t know if it is the best. Too many wonderful shots, I feel embarassed as well! 🙂

  10. Glad you didn’t ask us to help you choose Donna! Though I would have gravitated towards one of the crocus photos, if only because my own are such a distant memory now, and your pictures capture their beauty so perfectly. I love the Proust quote to. Good luck!

    1. Happy you enjoyed the post and pics Janet. I almost was going to post and then ask friends to help me choose, but decided I needed to make a decision…glad you liked my choice!!

  11. Donna, lovely photos, wonderful quote, and I love the lighting of the crocus! It’s a winner in my book.

    1. Di thx for visiting and I am glad you enjoyed the post…I certainly hope the judge thinks it is a winner too!!

  12. Best of luck to you…I have yet to find the gumption to enter one of these. I do like the shot you chose – seeing the crocus veins through that gorgeous light. 🙂

  13. Well I’d say any one of these will be a sure winner for the contest. If not the judges do not know how to judge! My absolute favorite one is the lower right crocus in the third mosaic. That is a stunner!

  14. What can I say/writte? When I see just pretty flowers I think not of garden but of flower shops. No soil, no foliage…Somewhat out of context…

    1. Not really since these are for a macro photo contest and must be done this way. I enjoy taking close ups of flowers in my garden.

  15. Wowee. Tough choice indeed! I love how you literally had to get a different perspective (the rabbit’s!) to capture some of these images. All are so beautiful, especially the amaryllis and that spectacular crocus! I think you chose well and wish you much luck! It’s absolutely stunning!

  16. So many amazing, amazing photographs. You’ve got the concept of luminescence down to a science. But the crocus is spectacular! The petals look almost diaphanous.

    Your many wonderful examples have given me something to “shoot” for (pun intended).

    In my mind’s eye I’m visualizing your garden beds, dripping with these gorgeous jewels, and I’m turning green with envy!

    1. thank you Cathy….I only wish my beds were dripping with these jewels but right now they are green with weeds that need tending…your gardens are lovely…

      1. Thanks so much for your kind words about our gardens. I have to be honest though (and there aren’t too many people I would admit this to). There were MANY times this month when I was shooting pix that I stopped and grabbed a handful or four or five of weeds. With all the rain we’ve had, the garden was beginning to look like Jurassic Park! So I know exactly what you mean!

        Our last name is pronounced “Weeder” and we come by it honestly LOL.

        Cathy Wieder

        1. that is too funny….no matter your gardens are lovely and at least you have been weeding…I need to get the motivation to weed and not plant, prune or photograph…enjoy!!

  17. What wonderful photos, Donna. In this long, wet, grey spring, it must have taken some effort to find that many opportunities to photograph light! (It has turned warm and sunny in Maine; I hope you are getting the same weather.)

    1. Jean we are getting down right hot and humid weather now with lots of strong rain storms so we are still pretty wet and steamy. There were a few bright days in early spring when I was able to snap the pics in the post here…glad we have turned a corner.

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