A Dehiscence of Light – Lesson 1.3

– Posted in: Garden Photography
Worth garden dehiscence of light

A Dehiscence of Light – Worth Garden

The Wikipedia definition of dehiscence is “the spontaneous opening at maturity of a plant structure, such as a fruit, anther, or sporangium, to release its contents”.  Here I present my own dehiscence – of light as I find it in gardens.

As a mature garden photographer (no smirks please), I release some of my favorites as a way to explore visual poetry, while still furthering the mission to teach garden photography with this ebook.  Lesson 1.3.

Afternoon Light Through Trees

Poolside Morning Light in Habitat Garden

Dawn - Virginia Meadow Garden AHS

Dawn – AHS Virginia Meadow Garden

Sunburst on Path – Michelle Derviss Garden

I am grappling big time with new directions for my work.  The changing landscape of media communication has forced me to rethink my methods, even rethink my intentions.  I gravitate to a world of ideas with a visual toolbox, feeling inadequate to provoke a conversation, to express more than beauty. I throw out these photo sparks of light, hoping to fire some imagination in your own work.  Explanations later.

Today’s post, this dehiscence is inspired by a recent poetry reading by my friend Hazel White an artist exploring new poetry.  Hazel has written 11 garden books, and Peril as Architectural Enrichment is her first one of poetry.  Last Saturday’s reading, in 14 parts, a sonnet work in progress, involves audience participation.  We were asked to write down something about our personal dehiscence.  She gave us 2 minutes.


: the spontaneous opening of light in the garden, such as dawn light, dappled light, hard light, transcluscent light, or foggy light , to release a spirit and reveal the abundance of a garden.


I have been planning this ebook for years.  Timber Press sparked the idea but went nowhere.  Friends encouraged me to do it myself and now I am here at lesson 3 (chapter 1 part 3) Color and Light.  Light was on my mind when I went to the poetry reading.  Light has been on my mind for weeks as I planned this bi-monthly post for KapliPRO, and for many months as I outlined the books, indeed for many years as a photographer working with and against the light.

Now in the poetry excercise, as Hazel asks us about dehiscence, I ask myself how to communicate the importance of light to others.  How can I possibly narrow it down to a lesson (or two – also see 3.4) in a book ?  Light is everything.  In the beginning God defined Day One: “Light, go forth and dehisce !”  Subtle or bold, light is elemental in all good garden photos.

And it has already been the subject of many posts here at KapliPRO.  And now I think to encapsulate the capturing of light from all the snippets into a single garden photography lesson?

from Hard Light – Back Light

Some recent ones such as the Feb 24  Hard Light – Back Light were true teasers for the book.

Others just expressed my joy at finding light to photograph, as in the Mt Cuba Garden – Light Kisses May 24, 2010.

from Light Kisses

And grasses have captivated my thinking about light ever since GGW co-founder Nancy Ondra and I did the Grasses book in 2002.

from Backlit Grasses – Click for original post

Well, in conclusion I am simply NOT going to narrow down my lesson on Light and Color to a few photos and a few words.  And I certainly can’t include it all here in the teaser post. This has been your 2 minutes to contemplate what I am doing, and where it might go.  And no, I still don’t know myself.  You here are participating.  Thanks and stay tuned.  Explanations later.

Perhaps this entire post is a cop out since I can’t wrap my head around the enormity of this subject for this book.  So many design considerations have boggled my ability to present the content in blog format.  Much is still being decided.  I just have to keep plugging away, like Hazels’s new sonnet, a work in progress.  I will say the digital medium offers wonderful potential for enriched content and many photos will have flyout descriptions based on keywords and tags.  Light will be everywhere.  Example.


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Saxon Holt

Saxon Holt

Saxon Holt is the owner of PhotoBotanic.com, a garden picture resource for photographs, on-line workshops, and garden photography stories. An award winning photojournalist and Fellow of The Garden Writers Association with more than 25 garden books, he lives and gardens in Northern California. PhotoBotanic - Garden Photography online at www.photobotanic.com. https://photobotanic.com
Saxon Holt

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