Monday, August 16, 2010

Raising the bar. Striving for Excellence.

I just finished writing an article for a publication about raising the bar within the industry of landscape design.

The subject matter at hand that has chaffed my arse for years is about so called ‘professionals’ publishing "finished and or completed” garden designs on their website or professional (?) design association websites geared for the practising landscape designer.

Get a grip design “professional”, let the garden grow some bones , clean up the site of nursery pots and hoses and learn the basics of photographic composition.

Raise the bar , will ya ?
If the “before” photograph is not that much different from the “after” photograph, it’s not ready for prime time viewing.
Have some patience, show your work in the best possible light.

I’ll link you to the article once it has ‘matured’ enough for public consumption.

This project shown below is basically done but I wouldn’t dare publish it as a ‘completed project photo’
Tools are still out and nursery containers abound.
From Before and After Projects

Yeah, it’s newly completed but look at the quality of the photo - CRAP - Harsh light doesn’t do anything for the image.
Certainly not portfolio worthy or worthy of a website promoting professional landscape design.

A little better . There is some assemblance of growth, composition and the last bit of light falling behind the mountain is highlighting the upper terrace planting.
From Raised Garden Beds


Christine said...

Oh my gosh- YES! You've read my mind- it's like showing up to a consultation with stained and grubby clothes, but perhaps there are types that do that, too. If someone has put all that hard work into a job, the least they can do is make sure their shadow isn't in the photo. Can't wait to see the article.

phrago said...

Michelle, I totally agre, but I have to say that the newly planted pics of your work are very interesting to look at from a planter's point of view. Sometimes when the garden pics are very grown in, it is hard to see the actual plants, 'forest for the trees' so to speak. If you don't mind mr asking,what camera do you perfer to work with. I bet you have more than one...

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

I'm down to one camera right now.
Olympus 8080.
My Canon SLR is in need of a dire tune up and I lost the memory card to my pocket digital and can't seem to find a replacement ( its' really old ).

The O 8080 works good for me but it does not have anti- shake so I need a tripod in low light or when shooting in RAW or TIFF for absolute clarity.

I understand what you mean about seeing a new young planting. It is easier to ID the plants, but that's not a good look for a portfolio image or for a website that is espousing fine landscape design.

Christine, I'll let you know when the article is published. It's for a UK publication.

phyte club katie said...

Hi Michelle -- this is off topic but just wanted to say that I LOVE the name of your blog (and like the tagline even better). I live in SF but the photos of your designs just fuel my desire to somehow manifest a ton of $$ and relocate to the wilds of Marin! Thanks for the inspiration and I look forward to keeping up with your blog.
Also, do you have any front yard designs I could check out here in the City? Best, katie

gonativegal said...

Well said Michelle - I've many a time looked at high end landscaper's websites and thought gee, they have terrible pictures for what they're pushing.

Another pet peeve of mine is pictures of immature landscapes. I like to put progression photos of work I've done in my portfolio - it helps that I'm the one that maintains them. You almost never see progression photos - I suspect that by year 3 or 4 said gardens have already been butchered by the lawn service.

Love your photos and gardens as always!

Susan aka Miss R said...

At one point you have to give up and realize, particularly in my zone, that everything on my website is at least 2 years old. Sometimes I'll post in progress photos on my blog, but rarely. The new work that I'm excited about is too raw for public viewing via photos...I even try to dissuade garden tours until some maturity has taken place. I'm with you. If I want to look at hoses well then...

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

Great link.... Thanks!