Cool Colors in the Garden

Cool Blues and Greens

Cool Blues and Greens © 2011 Bo Mackison

Every gardener knows that it is the very impermanence of the garden that makes it precious.
The beauty of the garden lies in its constantly changing nature,
in the waves of colors and shapes that constantly pass through it.

~ Philip Martin

I have been to Olbrich Botanical Gardens on four different occasions to photograph these same Elephant Ear Plants. Twice I have photographed the gardens at 8 to 9 a.m. The other two times I visited the gardens later in the morning – about 10 a.m. til almost noon. Each time I have come away with markedly different photographs even though I am 1) using the same camera, lenses, and equipment including a tripod, 2)  shooting mostly in shaded areas or shot using light filtered through the plants — there has been an August bright sun with few clouds each time, and 3) I am shooting the same four or five plants.

Lighting is key in photography, and it is one of the joys and wonders I constantly work with. Light that is perfect one moment, disappears the next. As a photographer, one must seize the moment, there is no going back.

When I downloaded the photos to the computer from my last photoshoot, I was surprised to see such pronounced blue tones in the background plant. And even a few purple hues on a small part of the plant in the left lower area. The light green stem against the other deeper colors added the contrast needed to keep this from being a photograph of a bunch of foliage. And the added features of the patterns of lines and the plants’ textures are hard to beat.

A Zen sort of photograph, I can get lost in all those colors and textures.

Sure am having fun visiting these plants just about every day. Too bad they live on the other side of town!

Visit Through a Photographer’s Eye and see some remarkable photos in the photo of the week collection.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is spending as many mornings as possible in the gardens. Prime garden time in Wisconsin and the gardens are full of treasures.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Joanne Keevers says:

    To the naked eye were these leaves both the same colour, Bo? The bluish tones the background leaf are really something special. Such perfectly formed leaves and so beautifully contrasted in this photo.

  2. A truly remarkable image, Bo! Shifting and changing natural light from dawn to dusk create minute-by-minute miracles just waiting for our cameras. We just have to show up and … see. Like you! I LOVE this image!

  3. lovely observations and comments. Great image. I enjoy viewing it.

  4. Lovely contrast between these two greens. Nicely composed.

  5. These botanicals have grown more spectacular with your growing talent. The color and composition are so calming and soothing.

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