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A day with Brigitte in her garden

Autumn has arrived!

Brigitte's garden was quite parched - a muted palette of butterscotch, reminiscent of my days in Tuscany. Three heatwaves had taken their toll, yet, pockets of life were telling a story of hope, joy, strength, commitment, endurance and survival - Dahlias, Japanese anemone, Rudbeckia and more.

Birds were scurrying in the bushes, bees were delirious; I presume from copious amounts of nectar, spiders and their webs were abundant, insects galore.

Japanese anemone

Her architecture, shape and form are striking. The burnt-umber, and green-black blemishes on the dehydrated leaf in the foreground add intrigue, excitement and interest, and the leaf's sand colour ties in with the same colour in the background. The two opposites on the colour wheel, Red and green, make a striking story. The presence of the Ladybird and its location on the Rudbeckia is sheer luck - the cherry-on-the-cake. It was lucky too that the Rudbeckia was in the shade away from harsh sunlight.

Despite all this, I wanted to tell her story without the distraction of too many green casts from trees and shrubs in the background. I stood on tip toes and stretched my body as high as I could so that, on the whole, the green background was accompanied by warm sand tones from the dry grasses on the ground. The story is everything when it comes to whether or not to create an image My decision whether to create an image comes from my heart. Usually, it is light that first catches my eye, then only when I am moved by something, will I create a visual story. There has to be a connection, and when there is, it is usually instantaneous, and generally profoundly moving, The evaluation period is fleeting. It starts before I lift the camera to my eye, and comes from trusting my instinct, based on years of experience. The same is true when I look through the viewfinder of the camera. I will invest time to discover more. I will commit and be devoted to what I see before me with my naked eye and when I look through the viewfinder of my camera. The more inquisitive and moved I am, the greater the story I am able to tell, and over time, the more intuitive and instilled in me the process becomes. Thoroughly knowing my kit is fundamental to me, and keeping things simple by working with only one or two lenses, means I envisage the final image during the evaluation period.

Solitary and collective story observations My sentiment of telling a story goes beyond seeing with my eyes, I see with my heart and past influences too. Influences surrounding a subject affect my interpretation of its story, my mood, and my approach. The notes of light, and the ambiance it creates. The sounds and aromas present. The breeze on my face, and how it animates a subject. The connection of shape & form, stages of development, surprising aspects, and many more, play a part in my 'story telling' decision making. The list is endless, and personal to me, as it will be for others.

The Dahlias were in different stages of bloom I felt a connection with their story

I did not know that Dahlias petals emerge individually and sequentially. Thoroughly fascinating and reminiscent of a flamenco guitarists hand. That moment in time reminded me of when I used to play the Spanish guitar. This formed part of my connection with the Dahlias story.

I waited patiently for the odd wisp of cloud to soften the harsh sunshine

On the whole, the skies were blue, the sunlight harsh with the odd scatter of rainfall. I ran back and forth several times as occasional delicate cloud showed signs of momentarily masking the sunlight. I worked swiftly, after having mapped out my plan of attack earlier in the day.

I cherish my time with Brigitte in her garden. Her space for Nature is serene and magical. If you have a story to share of your garden, or other green spaces that you visit and love, we would love to hear about them. If you add the following hashtags to your posts on Instagram, we will be able to see them.

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