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.

14 Replies to “Rose Photography”

    1. Laura, thank you so much! I always appreciate not only your comments, but the effort you put into making them!

  1. Hi Susan, this is a very beautiful composition, one can feel the work behind, the choice of the colors or the frame to enhance the rose. I like the idea of uniting two gardens you admire in a single photo, there is a meaning behind this photo and it is part of its value.
    I usually don’t like when a macro photo is too much photoshopped or when the author tries and make you believe it is right out of the camera.
    In this case, you explain why you used two photos to make one, there is a reason and things are clear. I find the idea great, and congrats for winning the competiton, not forgetting to congratulate your Mum for her art in growing so beautiful roses and the gold medal 🙂

    1. Marie-Claude, thank you so much for this particular comment, as well as for all of your support in so many things over the years!

  2. Sorry, I mean the choice of the colors “of” the frame and not “or” (could not find how to correct my mistake).

    1. That’s funny, because I had just read it as “of” because, I guess, I knew what you meant. Again, thank you!

    1. Hi, Lavinia. Thank you! My mom grew the rose, and the butterfly is from Tim and Laurie’s garden (it was on garlic chives). Thanks for dropping by today!

  3. Beautiful photos. I take a lot of snap shots but I am always amazed at the quality of images produced by thoughtful, technically competent photographers who not only see the world but capture it for the rest of us to see in new ways.

    1. Hi, Bob. That is a really nice thing to say. Thank you. I was thinking about your coment elsewhere about “at this age…” and wondering what I would be doing without photography. When I’m editing, my FitBit actually thinks I’m sleeping, which I guess helps make up for the fact I don’t actually sleep much. But, more than that, in this past year photography has helped me bring together and understand so many different aspects of my life. Persephone, for the roles of women, as an anthropologist and as a woman… The ongoing colorblind work, to help me understand for the first time in my life how my son sees and how my father saw the world, has helped my see my father in some different ways and has brought me much closer to my son. The hawk – well, you know I love NM, the birds, the skies, the people, so much… When someone else appreciates the work, well, that is just so much icing on the cake. Thank you!

      1. I was just rereading the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and saw an annotation in my old Avon copy. FitzGerald quotes a story told by a pupil of Omar’s, “One day he said to me , My tomb shall be in a spot where the north wind may scatter roses over it”. ” In 1884, William Simpson found that this tomb was the only remaining memorial of Omar. He took some rose hips from bushes growing before it and sent them to Kew Gardens, London.” In 1893 a scion was taken from these transplanted bushes and planted over FitzGerald’s grave in Boulge Churchyard. The plant is the rosa centifolia.” The story and the numerous uses of roses and flowers to reference the briefness and the beauty of life thru out the stanzas reminded me of your photography and knowledge of roses. Thanks again for the beautiful photographs.

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