A day at West Dean gardens

Midday in midsummer isn't usually the best time to photograph a garden, but when you've got a day off in the middle of the holidays you make the most of it.

This was my first visit to West Dean (in West Sussex) but it was a lovely time of year to go. The walled gardens were in full flower, the restored Victorian glasshouses were bursting, and the roses in the sunken garden hadn't gone over yet.

My tips for shooting in high sun:

1. Wait for the sun to go behind a cloud whenever possible. You don't want the hard shadows that overhead sun gives.

2. If not possible, shoot into the sun and over expose by a stop or so:


Highlights from the walled garden, glasshouses and pergola:


And I even had time to put the Lensbaby Velvet on and try a few macro shots. This was my favourite:

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And if you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy "How To Photograph A Garden Visit" (including losing your companions, the 3 shots you need to get, and dealing with wet and windy weather).