A Garden Tour: Chasing the Light at Chanticleer with our Creative Photographer
Our creative photographer, Adelyn Duchala, recently attended a two-day photography workshop with the world-renowned garden photographer Claire Takacs at Chanticleer, a pleasure garden situated in the countryside just a short drive from our home office in Philadelphia. While there, Adelyn snapped over 250 gorgeous photos of the garden and we’re so happy to share some of the best with you here. We’ll let Adelyn’s photos (and words!) tell the rest of the story from her visit.
terrain: How many times have you visited Chanticleer? What made this visit special?
Adelyn: I’ve visited Chanticleer four times now, but this experience was very unique because I was able to shoot in the gardens from 6 to 8pm on Saturday evening and then from 6 until 10am the following morning. That was so amazing because we had free reign of the gardens without other people wandering around and we were photographing at times where the garden would normally be closed. Shooting during sunset and sunrise was incredibly special because I got to see how the light transformed the garden during each time of day. The garden became illuminated and the way the light fell on each plant brought out so many different colors and textures. Everything just felt like a painting.
terrain: Can you tell us about the workshop you took with Claire? What a treat that must have been!
Adelyn: She is so insanely talented at garden photography and I’ve always been so in love with her work. The opportunity to hear her speak about her work was a once in a lifetime experience for me. Throughout this two-day workshop we were able to work alongside Claire and peek inside her brain as to how she composes each shot, how she edits her photographs, and how she chases the light around the garden. Claire is known for her ability to capture light in each and every one of her photographs, so this workshop was about following the light during sunset and sunrise.
terrain: Speaking of learning about light, can you talk about what you learned while you were there?
Adelyn: Shooting directly into the sunlight is often discouraged when you’re shooting outdoors. It can cause lens flares and blown out exposures, but this is one of Claire’s main techniques while shooting! She finds where the sun is in that very moment and shoots directly towards it while wrangling the light so those “problems” don’t occur in the photograph.
terrain: Wow! Can you tell us more about Claire’s technique and what you learned from it?
Adelyn: Depending on what light you’re hoping to capture, shooting first thing in the morning as the sun’s rising will give you a dreamy, soft morning light. Which you can only get if you are out in the field at the crack of dawn! And from the moment the sun starts to rise, you are quite literally chasing the light. It definitely takes a little pre-planning and previous knowledge of the garden you are going to photograph; to spend time in the environment and to watch where the light falls so you know exactly where to go while shooting. Claire will often spend a few days in each garden she is photographing so she can map where the light is going to fall. It is about finding those pockets of soft light and watching how it transforms each element of the garden as it moves throughout the day until you reach that golden hour, as the sun starts to set.
terrain: Was there a time of day or area of the garden that was the most beautiful to you?
Adelyn: I loved loved loved shooting first thing in the morning; the light was so incredibly soft, and a little hazy which created this magical essence throughout the gardens. There was one area in particular that I kept revisiting throughout the morning. It felt so dreamy and peaceful, and the way the light was falling, presented such a calming energy. The light just highlighted each flower and created such vibrant colors in each photograph.
terrain: What do you love most about the Chanticleer gardens?
Adelyn: So many things! Chanticleer is truly such a special place, and it's right in our backyard! There is always something new to see! Chanticleer has this wonderful ability to create such a wild, vast landscape of many different gardens within a confined space. There are just so many amazing things to see each time you visit and it’s a great little escape outside of the city.
Love this post? Check out our Stoneleigh Garden Tour, Kristal Hill's Garden Tour, and Wendy and Chris' Garden Tour!