Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blackberry Farm's Photography Workshop

Attending the "Behind the Lens' workshop at Blackberry Farm was a dream come true.  Spending three days photographing ( and eating) beautiful food and florals was a delightful experience.  The class was taught by Heather Thomas, the talented photographer that shot the photos in both of the  gorgeous Blackberry Farm cookbooks.  Most of the time was spent actually photographing food and flowers that were specially prepared for us.  The floral designer for Blackberry Farm created an array of florals for us to practice photographing   with Heather and her staff's guidance.  Blackberry Farm's floral style is "use what you can find on the farm", very organic in nature. 

For example, in the Barn where guests are served dinner, large branches are cut and used in barrels.

In the foyer of the main house, forsythia, now blooming, is used in abundance.

Potted herbs and garden flowers are used on the old table around the tree on the veranda.
Nothing fancy, just pretty and simple.

 But for this class, the florist cheated a bit and purchased flowers.

This beautiful tablescape was created in the wine cellar for our photography class.

The light source was only coming from the windows at the end of the room

A combination on yellow flowers- tulips, roses and forsythia- looked beautiful.

Simply done, but a gorgeous table.

For some of the shots, we were encouraged to take the flowers outside and shoot in the natural light.

We were taught how to use reflectors to create or take away shadows. 
 I immediately went home and purchased some reflectors!  What a wonderful tool to learn  about- they really  make a difference in a picture and they are so inexpensive to buy. 

Blurring out the background and focusing on the flowers.

 Fruits were added to create interesting arrangements.
 Notice the play of light on the oranges.

Interesting containers and surfaces were used to create interest.  This one was shot with
an old bread board as the surface and a piece of black foam core as the background. What a great technique to  make those roses  pop.  It wouldn't   have been nearly as effective as shooting them with the white wall  as a background.

 Close up and personal.

Detailed images of a single element of an arrangement.

This would be  a beautiful piece of art on a wall.
Blackberry Farm is a photographer's paradise
.  Here are some of my favorite photographs from the trip.
Appetizers at the opening dinner.

Foggy morning  heading to class.

 The Barn's open kitchen

Having a fabulous dinner at our table by the fireplace.

Smoked ice cream, chocolate ganache, and toasted marshmallows.

Dessert served on a piece of state- chocolate and strawberries. 

 The boathouse reflecting in the water.
 Bringing in the horses with a golf cart.

Where is everybody?

Magnificent animals.

You can almost see into their souls.

My happy husband.
And I was actually there to catch these photo opportunities!


The old covered bridge
Strawberry Soup- with a very surprising taste!  Not sweet as I expected.
A rustic plate of Blackberry Farm bread, cheese and charcuterie. 
The linen slipcovered French chairs.

Relaxing in the new spa - staring out at the beautiful landscape- in a comfy chaise- after a massage. 
The sculpture in the spa made by internationally acclaimed  local artist, Richard Jolley.
And my favorite- my buddy who always comes right up to me- Mr. Tom Turkey.

A little post editing back at home!  Couldn't resist playing with his feathers.
Like I said earlier-Blackberry Farm is  a photographer's candy store.  Beautiful food, beautiful scenery, beautiful animals-
just too many things to keep your camera happy. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Arrangements

.   After a surprise snow fall this week, I am desperate for  spring colors. We had just decided to put away the snow blower- big mistake- and my bulbs were beginning to emerge from the ground. And surprise- Monday morning I awoke to 6 inches of snow. Rather than cry, I decided to create arrangements of spring in some of my favorite containers- all with graphics.  There is something very appealing about beautiful labels, especially ones from the past.  Plus they add another interesting  dimension to  an arrangement-

Miniature orchids and a ferny moss in a wine basket.

A vintage champagne bucket with a beautiful label.

Love the contrast of the bright green and white muscari in the black champagne bucket.
Gold on black - you can't go wrong!

A silver loving cup filled with maidenhair fern, moss, eggs in a nest and muscari

A tussie mussie in an old trophy that "Fannie" won years ago.
Beautiful label on the bottle of Armagnac too! 

A single perfect rose in an old apothecary jar.  Much more interesting than
a single rose in a bud vase- right?

A little bit of color inside as winter lingers on and on and on.