09/25/17
miniature rose

Autumn Roses

Autumn Roses

Autumn roses seem especially sweet. Maybe that is because they will soon disappear until Spring. This past spring I had too many distractions and demands to take good care of the roses then. But, the monsoon season was good to my yard. That inspired me to get out and work to get a few things in better shape. I was happily surprised with the roses available to photograph this weekend. Also, I’m playing with a new program, so I feel a bit like a kid with a new set of finger paints. Thank you for indulging me.

autumn roses

Irresistible

autumn roses

Distant Drums

autumn roses

Foolish Pleasure

We are supposed to get more rain in the middle of the week. I put a few pansies out this weekend, and rain would be good for them as well as for the long-standing roses.

ARS Rose Notes

For my rose friends who read here, the final ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography includes a National Challenge Class that will first be offered at the ARS Spring 2018 Convention. This is a heads-up, because photographing bloom cycles requires some planning. I do think this is a worthy national challenge class.

roses

Nat’l Challenge Class

Monday Morning Thoughts, a Long Digression

I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ The Viet Nam War. Throughout, I have thought about people I’ve known, and where they are in life and in their heads today (for those still alive). Last night was a little different. The episode covered the Tet Offensive to the assassination of Robert Kennedy. That is, Spring 1968, when Martin Luther King was also assassinated. I remember watching Lyndon Johnson’s speech, and many other things that had slipped into the deep recesses of my mind.

I was a student at the University of Chicago in the Spring of 1968. The University is on the south side of Chicago. I had come from a university that might consider tearing down a library if necessary to expand football. The University of Chicago had torn down the football field and was in the process of building a new library. I lived in a 12th floor apartment, that looked south. I could see Rockefeller Chapel, the Museum of Science and Industry, and a tiny glimpse of Lake Michigan. The university had its own bus for students, a bus that continually circled through Hyde Park to shuttle students to and from classes and back home. Most days I had the same bus driver.

Chicago When Martin Luther King Was Assassinated

Martin Luther King was assassinated on a Thursday. Friday morning was calm on the south side of Chicago. By the end of classes Friday afternoon, the tension was palpable. I caught the bus to go home. I was the last person off. The driver, who had gotten to know me over the year, said, “I’m going to drop you off at the door to your building today (instead of about 1/2 block away). Don’t go out tonight. Stay in your apartment.”

That weekend, first of all, and for days, I could look out and see the south side of Chicago burning. As a result, the heavily armed Military, not just police and National Guard, were patrolling the streets. Most of all, I remember looking out and seeing the Army camped on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry. Military tents completely covered those grounds. Maybe that is what I have remembered most of all.

I watched the helicopters hover over the meeting between the Blackstone Rangers and police, as they tried to work out a truce.

I have not thought about these things in a long time. What stood out to me from last night’s episode was the Marine, who had fought in Viet Nam, who was ordered to go to one of the cities with civil unrest. He refused an order to go, which essentially ended his military career. He said in essence, “I thought we would be sent for regular police work, protecting buildings, that kind of thing. Then they started issuing the same equipment we had had in Viet Nam: flak jackets, the same bullets, all the same things. I said I was not going.”

That was 49 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I half-apologize for the digression.

09/19/17
ars rose photography

ARS Rose Photography Update

ARS Rose Photography Update

ARS Rose Photography Update: the American Rose Society’s Board of Directors has approved the final version of the First Edition of Guidelines and Rules for Judging Rose Photography. Editors are completing the final editorial review. The text will appear shortly on the website of the American Rose Society. Members will be able to access it by going to “Resources”and scrolling down. In the meantime, members may see and download six PowerPoint programs explaining use of the Guidelines. The PowerPoints appear alphabetically rather than by topic, so be sure to scroll through.

ars rose photography

2017 ARS Photography Guidelines and PowerPoints Explaining Use Are Now Available

Because some readers may not be ARS members but still interested in the PowerPoints, I’m posting links here. Click on the links to view.

The current six are:

Creative Interpretation

Floral Arrangements

Shrubs, Old Garden Roses, etc.

Rose Sprays

Fully Open, Stamens Showing

How to Mount and Mat an 8×10 Photo for ARS Shows

While those are the current six, watch for additional ones in the future. In addition to these, planned are One Bloom, Macro Photography, The Enhanced Sections, What’s New in the 2017 Guidelines, and People, Not Cameras, Create Images.

You may view the current ones, as well as new ones as they appear, at a PowerPoint Library at Southwest Desert Gardening.

One does not have to be a member of any rose society to enter roses, arrangements, or photographs in ARS sanctioned rose shows. Anyone can enter!

09/1/17
monsoon rains

Monsoon Rain and Roses

Monsoon Rain and Roses

Monsoon rain and roses have been outstanding this year!

Monsoon Rain

In July, I showed the first real rain at my house of the 2017 monsoon season. It was unusual, dropping 2.5 inches of rain in 40 minutes. Overall, I’ve gotten almost 7 inches of rain this monsoon season. The transformational power of rain in the desert is remarkable.

July 17, 2017:

monsoon rain

Monsoon Rain and Pond

August 21, 2017:

monsoon rain

Back Yard, A Month Later

Roses

The roses have responded in like manner.

The hybrid tea ‘Gemini’ has put out many sprays, which will appear at a later time. The one-to-a-stem blooms have had the perfect form for which this particular rose is known. This image is from the other night, after a brief monsoon shower. The new ARS guidelines that will be coming out later this month strongly suggest avoiding images with water droplets on the petals. I agree with avoiding such images if the light is wrong and the droplets light up as blank, a real distraction. But raindrops on roses after a gentle life-giving rain in the desert? I will photograph and show such images, happily. ‘Gemini’ is one of my favorite hybrid tea roses to grow in Albuquerque. “Raindrops on roses…” The stucco of my house, against which most of my hybrid teas grow, is the background.

monsoon rain and roses

Raindrops on Roses – ‘Gemini’

Another of my favorite hybrid tea roses in the desert is ‘Veterans’ Honor.’ It has also responded to the monsoon rains. While I frequently get sprays on ‘Gemini,’ most ‘Veterans’ Honor’ blooms for me are one-to-a-stem. However, it produced a spray this year. This is not any kind of classic spray form by any stretch of the imagination. Nevertheless, I kind of like the almost ‘golden spiral’ effect of this spray, the always-gorgeous color, and healthy foliage seen here.

monsoon rain and roses

Spray of Hybrid Tea Rose, ‘Veterans’ Honor’

Although Albuquerque will see some additional rain this year, the monsoon season is rapidly drawing to a close. From my perspective, as well as that of my yard and flowers, this has been a great – and much needed – monsoon year!

07/3/17
rose sprays

Rose Sprays

Rose Sprays

Rose sprays – the appearance of two or more blooms on a single stem – have been exceptionally abundant in my yard this year. After doing one draft of a PowerPoint presentation about photographing them, I decided I really needed to create two or three separate but related presentations. These would be for rosarians planning to enter their photographs in rose shows. But many of my photographs of roses do not meet the new ARS Guidelines (even though I helped write them, at least at the beginning), but would be quite acceptable in other venues. Sometimes I enjoy putting quotations with my images. That is what I felt like doing today. 🙂

This is a spray of the shrub rose, ‘Distant Drums.’ Those of you who know this rose know that these blooms are long past their prime, and lack many of the defining characteristics of the variety. But, the light was so glorious, illuminating them at early dawn.

And, I thought of this quote from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera:

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom. Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself.”

rose sprays

Faded ‘Distant Drums’ Rose Spray

Several years ago I developed a habit of photographing a rose from “the back” as well as from “the front.” Those of you who aren’t into roses know that is really a meaningless distinction. In roses, “the front” most usually refers to what you would see in a rose catalog. That is because the American Rose Society was founded by rose hybridizers to encourage the sale of roses. Photographers, in contrast, look for interesting angles.

This image is of two different views of a spray of the hybrid tea rose, ‘Gemini’ with three florets. Visually, I prefer the one that would not be seen in a rose catalog.

rose sprays

Two Views of the Same Spray of the Rose ‘Gemini’

rose sprays

‘Gemini’ Spray with Coreopsis

I have enjoyed photographing the abundant rose sprays this year! 🙂 You can expect to see more over time. 😉

05/23/17
giant Dr Huey

Giant Dr Huey 2017

Giant Dr Huey 2017

The giant Dr Huey has become probably the most important stop on the Corrales Rose Society Annual Dr Huey Tour. It is huge! We like to document its existence each year, in case it should ever disappear. We kind of laugh at ourselves when we say that, though, because this hybrid wichurana is so hardy it will probably “always” be there.

It has been so warm this year that we planned the tour a week earlier than usual. Some roses were out much earlier than usual after an unusually warm winter. Dr Huey in Corrales and Mermaid in my yard were not fooled: they hit their peak at the regular time. The first scheduled tour was “no dice.” The rescheduled tour at the regular time – third weekend in May – was perfect. For discussions and images from prior years, check out the Dr Huey section on my Southwest Desert Gardening blog.

I have many images from many very different things in Corrales that day, and those will appear in many different posts. After the Dr Huey Tour, we went back to Tim and Laurie’s place. As is usual, the day produced a lot of fun and surprises, most of which were photographed. But, this post shows the giant Dr Huey alive and well and huge in May of 2017.

giant Dr Huey

Tim Price (Over 6 Feet Tall) Under the Giant Dr Huey, for Scale. Note the Trailing Blooms on Either Side of Tim.

giant Dr Huey

Tim Price at the Giant Dr Huey. After you have gazed at his photographic equipment, note the trailing Dr Huey blooms over his right shoulder.

giant Dr Huey

Laurie Sketching Tim and the Giant Dr Huey

giant Dr Huey

Tim Photographing Laurie and Laurie Sketching Tim at the Giant Dr Huey

04/22/17
Earth Day 2017

Earth Day 2017

Earth Day 2017

Earth Day 2017 is happening on a day when my roses are about three weeks ahead of bloom time compared to even several years ago. I am enjoying them, and hoping that the summer won’t be too hot.

This rose is the miniature rose, ‘Starla.’ It actually has a bloom that is quite large for a miniature, and some days I wonder if it will be reclassified a mini-flora. It is a beautiful rose in any stage from bud to fully open.

Earth Day 2017

Earth Day 2017

06/5/16

Rose Photography

Rose Photography – Judges Class Winner in the 2015 American Rose Society Digital Photography Competition

Rose photography – what led me to study and learn digital photography in 2008. I was an ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangement Judge when I wrote about adding photography to our rose shows for the ARS 2010 ARS Rose Annual.

My interests in photography have certainly led me, and will continue to lead me, to explore many more aspects of my world and life through photography.

I would like to thank the members of special committee who selected this image, “Rose ‘Gold Medal’ with Butterfly,” as the winner of the Judges Class of the 2015 American Rose Society Digital Photography Contest.

ARS 2015 Photo Contest Winner rose photography

Rose ‘Gold Medal’ and Hair Streak Butterfly
Winner, Judges Class, 2015 ARS Digital Photography Contest

This image has special meaning to me. The ‘Gold Medal’ was grown by my mother, and it is one of her favorite roses. It was photographed near sunset in her garden. The hair streak butterfly is a macro shot taken in the garden of my friends Tim and Laurie on a glorious afternoon in Corrales. I have so many pleasant memories of both gardens, and I wanted to unite them in one image. On a personal level, that is what was behind the creation of this image.

On a rose photography level, I wanted to create an image that used a lot of photo editing and photo enhancements but ended with an image of a beautiful rose and a feeling of a presence in a beautiful garden. One of my pet peeves is the use of Photoshop filters to create with one click of a mouse an image that smashes a rose beyond all recognition. The uninitiated seem to find those impressive, but they do not know that it is one click of a mouse. Did I ever make images like that? Yes, I did indeed. But I would like to see us encourage images that are a bit more creative and that show the beauty of the rose. Do I expect them to be as complex in creation as this image that appears so simple was? No, of course not. But I recently saw a gorgeous image of a rose on fallen leaves of autumn, creatively arranged, magnificent in color, that was passed over for a one-click abstract. I’d like to see our judges – and photographers – begin to rethink the approach to “rose art” to go beyond the one-click Photoshop filters.

Once again, I thank the people who selected this as the winner in the Judges Class, 2015. It is an honor.

I leave you with a brief slideshow of some of my rose images from the past.

04/19/16

The New Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography: Breaking It Down I

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Showing Photographs at Rose Shows

The New Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography: Breaking It Down I

Since September 2015 the ARS has had national Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. Although I am writing this series to help make the transition from the old and outdated PSWD Guidelines easier for those who are used to using them, if others find this useful, so much the better.

Starting at the beginning, National Chairman Curtis Aumiller states

This first edition is not meant to be an ending point, but rather a starting point for
those who judge rose photographs. The standards agreed upon in this manual will grow and
evolve in future manuals, just as our roses grow and evolve over time. This manual is meant
as a way to find common ground when judging photography of roses for those who already
judge roses for horticulture or arrangements. As with the other guidelines, the most important
aspect to any judging is to enjoy the beauty of the roses displayed while fairly applying
standards to all exhibits. This book will help the seasoned rose judge, the student judge, the
apprentice judge, and most of all, the exhibitor to frame the beauty of America’s flower!

Like the Guidelines for Judging Horticulture and Judging Arrangements, these guidelines are for exhibitors of rose photographs in shows that give ARS awards, and for judges who “already judge roses for horticulture or arrangements.” This, of course, is not surprising to anyone who has done the work to become an accredited judge. The people to judge rose photographs are the people who have prepared themselves to judge roses in rose shows. That was always the intent under my chairmanship in the PSWD, strongly supported by Bruce Monroe who at that time was the National Chairman of Horticulture Judges. My last official act as PSWD photography chair was in June 2012, when I organized a day long seminar and workshop on judging rose photography, taught by myself, Sally Long, and photographer Pat Berrett. Because Bruce Monroe so strongly supported photography in our shows, horticulture judges who attended were given four hours of credit, which is what they needed for that cycle of accreditation. Additionally, Arrangement judges received two hours of credit.

The 40 available spaces for that seminar filled fast. The day was a lot of fun, people felt they learned a lot, and left excited about the possibilities for photography in our shows. Click here for a few images from that seminar.

Photography in the PSWD took a sharp turn with a new district director and photography chairman, but Sally Long, the third PSWD photography chairman is working to revive the interest in rose photography present in that district at the end of my tenure.

The challenge for photography at the National level now that official Guidelines have been adopted will be to provide educational programs for both exhibitors and judges on their use. This can be done in a variety of ways. I do believe one important component will be the addition of a segment on judging rose photographs to Horticulture and Arrangement judging schools and seminars. At the present time the ARS has no plans for separate accreditation of Photography judges, so it becomes especially important that our judges are presented with opportunities to learn some of the specifics of the new ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. They will certainly be called upon to judge rose photographs in our shows.

RESPECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Chapter 2 in the new Guidelines is “Intellectual Property.” This was definitely a needed addition, and in the past few months I have been reminded just how needed this new chapter is. It may surprise some of you who know me when I say I had nothing to do with this chapter. It appeared one day in the Committee’s discussions, and I was delighted! From Chapter 2 of the ARS Guidelines:

All photographs entered into an ARS show, from local shows to national shows, are the property
of the photographer and are protected as intellectual property…The information about intellectual property
should be in the show schedule; however, failure to include this information in the schedule does not negate
the legal precedence, and the show must still follow this rule…

The following should be included in any schedule for photography:
All rights to the submitted photographs are retained by the owners of the photographs. However, by submitting
a photograph to the contest, the exhibitor (1) warrants that he or she owns the copyright of the submitted
photograph and is not legally prohibited from submitting it to the contest, and (2) agrees to allow the
[name of the rose society sponsoring the show] to display the photo at the [name of the show] show [optionally
time and place of the show], [if applicable] and publish the photograph in [name of newsletter or newsletters,
optionally specify the issue].

The chapter on Intellectual Property is a new addition, a much needed one. Any questions may be directed to ARS Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller.

That is enough to both write and absorb for one day. Stay tuned for Breaking It Down Part II at a later time. If you have read this far, thank you for your interest.

04/17/16

Toss Those PSWD Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Showing Photographs at Rose Shows

Rose Photography Has New Guidelines, The ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography

When the Board of the American Rose Society (ARS) approved the new Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography in Syracuse in September 2015, the PSWD Guidelines became obsolete. When I wrote the PSWD Guidelines, with considerable input from Sally Long, the goal was to ultimately have standardized, national guidelines. The new guidelines, written by the ARS Photography Committee, chaired by Curtis Aumiller, have been officially approved and replace everything that came before. This will not be an issue for Districts that have never had guidelines for photography, but it could be confusing for anyone who continues to use the now-outdated PSWD Guidelines. They are as outdated as rotary phones and party lines in this era of cell phones.

Some people are confused by the fact the ARS guidelines were approved as “temporary” and think that means “optional.” The Committee requested temporary approval so that the guidelines could be used and feedback obtained about changes people would like to see. A show committee never has to use ARS rules unless ARS awards are going to be given. This includes even the little ribbons for 1st-4th places. Show committees are used to this when writing schedules for Horticulture and Arrangements. Now the new Guidelines for Photography need to be followed in the same manner if ARS awards are to be given. ARS members may download the Guidelines here.

If your District has now appointed a District Chairman for Photography, feel free to address your photography schedule questions to that person, as well as to the ARS Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller (caumiller[at]yahoo.com). The current PSWD Chairman of Photography is Sally Long. If your District does not have a Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller and the ARS Photography Committee are ready to assist you with your schedule and other questions.

A transition from one set of guidelines to the new ARS guidelines will not be a problem for people who have never had guidelines. The PSWD Guidelines are ubiquitous in that district, and are found elsewhere when people have seen what was done here. It is for people who have used the old guidelines and know them well that I am doing a series, of which this is the first post, that explains what is the same, what is different, what is new.

The Score Card in the ARS Guidelines is unchanged. 🙂

Subsequent posts will address some new additions and some very important changes that judges and exhibitors alike need to know. Stay tuned.