Botanica: The Wichita Gardens is known for their extensive tulip beds and flowering trees that put on a real show on the odd lucky springs when the Kansas winds don’t blow the blossoms away.
For the first time in several years, I had the chance to grab my camera and take a stroll around the grounds. It was every bit as beautiful as I remembered!
Flowering trees are gorgeous in “real life” but nearly impossible to capture on film due to their shape and scope. The key, I’ve found, is to focus on a particular aspect of the tree (such as a blossom or stem) or to make sure you contrast the tree against a dark background to bring out the colorful shapes of the flowering branches.
Keep an eye out for unusual varieties of trees or unique aspects of familiar trees, like the weeping redbud (below) that has been “trained” to form interesting shapes.
A helpful trick is to set your camera (mine is a Canon t3i Rebel) to AV mode or a “Flower/Close-Up” setting to create a short depth-of-field. This creates the effect above where the section closest to the camera is in focus and the background gradually fades out of focus. This keeps subjects that could otherwise be very visually “busy” from becoming overwhelming and tells the viewer’s eye where to look.
You can also use lines that naturally occur in the landscape to direct the viewer’s eye and draw them into the scene, as in the photo below.
Photography by Katie Morford (Karis Waters). All rights reserved.
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