a leaf pattern on a rusted iron gate shot close up
Photo: Matthew Benson
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5. Find a Theme, Tell a Story

How a garden changes over time is one obvious story line; to do it well requires shots that show the overall plan of the garden, as well as midrange views and close-ups. But, Benson points out, there are many other stories, from the patterns that specific plants create to studies of hardscape elements and garden ornaments. The leaf pattern on an iron gate (shown) may hint at the weathered grandeur of the garden beyond. Pick an element of your garden that you love—a color, a shape, a recurring motif—and shoot just that, then complete the story with broader views. Above all, aim to find a story to tell that's all your own.
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