Photographing the Denver Botanical Gardens


I grew up in Denver, and never really remembered the Botanical gardens being as wonderful as they are; what stuck in my mind was the hot and humid conservatory and traipsing behind my parents who were ooohhhing and ahhhing over every little flower.  Peter and I recently made an unplanned stop at the gardens during a family visit, with just small cameras in hand. 

I was surprised at what an incredible garden it is.  It is the first public garden I have been too, where they have small paths throughout all of the beds so you can see the plants up close.  We had just a couple of hours there, but found many creative possibilities, in spite of the bright summer sun.  All of these images were taken handheld with my Fuji XE2.

This guy (or gal) kept us fascinated for a long time.  We had never seen one before, and still don’t know what it is.  If anyone out there knows, please share……


I was delighted to have an opportunity to photograph poppies since we haven’t seen many of them in California, especially with such a fabulous purple in the background to contrast against the yellow.


Ever since our first Jack Graham workshop I have been on a mission to photograph a red Columbine.  These are challenging flowers to photograph with detail from top-to-bottom, front-to-back and still maintain a pleasing background.  Getting them sharp is difficult because they move with the slightest breeze.  It was fun to find them in the garden, and work on my technique, I still have work to do.  Maybe I’ll try focus stacking if I can ever find one of them super still.


I am still on a quest to find my “style” with respect to blurs and movement.  There were opportunities in the garden, especially when we found a water garden inspired by Monet, and the Japanese garden.

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I remember first looking at desert and tropical plants and finding them boring.  I now love to photograph them in abstract focusing on the forms and lines.  There were many opportunities in the conservatory, we could have spent hours there (well… least one of us could have…..)

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On my Fuji I am discovering creamy beautiful bokeh, and really love the circular backgrounds I am getting with flowers in particular.



I am becoming more familiar with my Fuji, and as each day passes, I am loving the results.  I still have to conquer macro photography with this little camera, and hope to use some of my specialized Canon gear with it.  I will keep you posted.


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