Brookside Gardens Spring Display

March 11, 2010

Montgomery College student Marian Kim photographs a dwarf powder puff tree from South America in the Brookside Gardens Conservatory in Wheaton, Maryland, on March 9, 2010. The gardens' Spring Zing event showcased early spring and tropical flowers such as snapdragons, orchids, and birds of paradise. (UMD Photo/Karen Carmichael)

I think this photo follows the rule of thirds – the line of Kim’s arm and the tripod help vertically divide the photo. The side of Kim’s face peering into the camera and the powderpuff flower both fall close to grid points. I also like the light quality that throws leafy shadows over Kim.

Barbara Suhre of Colesville smiles in the Butterfly Court of Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland, on March 9, 2010. Suhre and her husband try to come to the gardens twice a week in the spring, she said. (UMD Photo/Karen Carmichael)

This photo uses perspective to frame Suhre, and the eye is drawn to the brightness surrounding her. The moment also matters – I took several shots of Suhre from this spot, but this photo was the only one in which she was smiling and looking toward the camera.

Deep pink snapdragons glow in the Brookside Gardens Conservatory in Wheaton, Maryland, on March 9, 2010. Flowers are grown in a propagation greenhouse and brought to the conservatory at peak bloom. (UMD Photo/Karen Carmichael)

I wanted a detailed shot of the flowers to show what drew people to the garden. I used perspective to produce a sharp closeup of an especially fine bunch of snapdragons, with the other flowers creating softer pops of color in the background.

Owen Roberts of North Bethesda splashes in the conservatory pond of Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland on March 9, 2010. Owen visited the gardens' Spring Zing event with his mother, Linda, and grandmother Sylvia Hughes. (UMD Photo/Karen Carmichael)

Perspective comes into play here – I crouched down to get a lower angle, and focused on the flowers in the foreground. The hazy sunlight filtering through the greenhouse glass also enhances the location’s steamy, tropical feel.

Two-year-old Angela Giller of Wheaton runs past a bird's nest fern in the Brookside Gardens Conservatory in Wheaton, Maryland on March 9, 2010. The gardens' Spring Zing event attracted many families and Angela visited with her mother, Kirolina Giller, and 8-month-old sister Virginia. (UMD Photo/Karen Carmichael)

This picture is definitely all about the moment. I was photographing some greenhouse volunteers when I saw this little girl start to run down the path. I crouched down and snapped her just as she ran past. She was also smiling and happened to look at me just as I took the photo, so the emotion on her face also comes through.



  1. A student took these? Haha. I’ll try not to hate on you too much. Seriously, these belong in Home & Garden. Do you keep a portfolio of your stuff?Beautiful. The color quality is so perfect, it’s frigtening. Also, that little girl is precious.

    • Thanks so much Jess! I’m always trying to get better at my photography. I loved your photos too. The little girl was indeed adorable – when she wasn’t crying, haha.

  2. Hey Karen,
    I love the colors of your photos as well. I couldn’t really see them at first on the slice website but they’re so clear here. I also especially like the picture of the little girl and how she’s looking at the camera but off to the side.

  3. Your photographs are wonderful. The perspectives are really interesting but they don’t look over-exaggerated. Really great colors.

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