Photography Workshop with Saxon Holt at the San Francisco Botanic Garden

It occurs to me that I never posted about this workshop, which was held at the end of June during the Garden Bloggers’ Fling. I won’t try to convey what Saxon Holt had to say, but Judy found it very helpful. I will say that Saxon was very gracious and entertaining as he shared his expertise.

Saxon Holt
Saxon Holt leading workshop during the Garden Bloggers’ Fling.
framing a view
A practical aid for framing a view.

There was some discussion of trying to see through a frame.

San Francisco Botanic Garden

After the workshop, Judy and the other participants went wandering around the San Francisco Botanic Garden to try and apply what they had heard. It was close to noon at this point and the sun was very bright, which was challenging.

san francisco botanic garden

san francisco botanic garden

We only saw a small part of the garden. However, we did see some really magnificent trees, though I couldn’t tell you what they were.


There were a lot of impressive foliage plants, like these Gunnera.


And these Cycads.

san francisco botanic garden
Ducklings try out their land legs while mom looks on.
San Francisco Botanic Garden ducklings
Time to form up.

Ducklings in a row

There were a cute family of ducks in the pond.

Red Poppies
Red Poppies

red poppy

There was a bed with red poppies that really stood out in the landscape, which tended to be mostly greens and softer colors.

Who is your favorite garden photographer? Have you ever visited the San Francisco Botanic Garden?

30 Comments on “Photography Workshop with Saxon Holt at the San Francisco Botanic Garden

  1. In spite of the early start, I really appreciated that workshop. And I remember running into you and Judy right by that cute duck family. I could use a little of the heat and sun of that day about now…how about you two?

  2. I too enjoyed meeting Saxon. I had corresponded with him prior and was very anxious to meet him in person. I did enjoy the lesson and the tour of the gardens, although we were dodging sprinklers almost the whole time.

  3. Interesting that there were the red European poppies. In Great Britian they are used for Remembrance of the two world wars. After the First world war the countryside of France and Flanders were covered with red poppies; the result of all the digging of trenches. These red poppies grow all over Europe where ever the earth has been turned over (often besides roads were work has taken place and in fields that have been ploughed. It’s great to hear of the great time all you bloggers had in SF.

  4. I would love to take a workshop with Saxon, I love his work! Love your wife’s pics of the poppies. I’ve not been to that SF garden but I have been to the SF Japanese garden and did a post on it last spring. It is a beautiful place too.

  5. Further to Christina’s comment. The red poppy grows naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Europe. The Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers, hence the association with remembrance.
    Aside from that, thanks for the great photographs. It is nice to see a bit of sunshine (I am in England and it is miserable weather)

  6. Oh…..wonderful to see a blue sky. Those trees are stunners and I LOVE the ducklings and Cycads….funnily enough, I recieved one as a birthday present,it’s only small, but perfectly

  7. That Gunnera is HUGE! I always hate when I am in a beautiful garden at midday. The photos always are terrible. You did an admirable job after your workshop.

  8. I am not sure I have a favourite professional, but I will say that I am always amazed at the quality of the photographs by other bloggers. There are some really talented people out there! I have never been to the San Francisco Botanical garden so enjoyed seeing what it is like through your images. Maybe someday I will be lucky enough to visit.

  9. I’ve visited San Francisco several times, but I’ve never been to the botanical garden there. Looks like it was a helpful workshop. I love the last shot of the Poppy–the bright sun is complimentary to Poppies!

  10. I have two favourite garden photographers: Jürgen Becker and Clive Nichols. San Francisco is a little far for me but I enjoyed the walk with you.

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