Well, I’m absolutely delighted to feature an interview with Clive today, together with a selection of his stunning images.
Could you tell us how you became interested in garden and flower photography?
After leaving Reading University with a degree in Human Geography, I became a chef in an Italian restaurant called Nino’s in Reading.
After three years, I’d worked my way up to head chef but I thought ‘I’m going to die if I carry on working at this rate’.
My wife Jane said to me ‘What’s your dream job?’ and I replied ‘A photographer for the National Geographic’.
So I switched career and did travel photography for about three years and then realised that I wasn’t going to make a living from that.
Then I walked into WHSmiths and started looking through garden magazines thinking ‘I can do shots like these’. And that’s what got me going.
How did you learn your photography skills?
I’m entirely self-taught. I got a lot of help in the early days from a friend of mine called Brian Didriksen. He had all sorts of cameras including a medium format Bronica.
What type of camera and lenses do you use?
Now I mostly use a Canon 1Ds Mark III with lenses from 17mm to 400mm in focal length.
For close-ups, I use a 180mm macro lens and for architecture, I use a lot of tilt/shift lenses.
Could you tell us more about your latest book, Florescence?
Florescence came about really because a couple of years ago I got a bit fed up with just shooting gardens.
My wife was out a lot with her job and I thought it would be fun to do shots of flowers around the house, just using simple colour backdrops.
I took the pictures to the publisher Merrell who liked them and made the book.
What are your tips for people taking photos of their gardens?
Get up very early for the magical dawn light and hang around in the evening as well. Oh and use a tripod, if you can, to get your pictures nice and sharp.
Could you tell us about any of your recent commissions where gardens and flowers are featured?
Almost all my shoots are flowers or garden related.
I’ve just finished my 25th two day shoot for Next. I shoot all their flowers for their brochure and internet.
What are your plans for 2012?
I have so many commissions to complete at the moment that all my plans are on hold until the end of the summer.
I have five gardens to shoot for The National Trust, so that is something exciting that I want to build on.
Do you have a favourite flower?
Usually it’s the one that I last took a great photograph of ! But probably my all-time favourite flowers are tulips, especially parrot tulips.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing Clive’s stunning photographs today and hearing how he became a garden and flower photographer.
And now I’ll leave you until tomorrow with the gorgeous image below of a garden in full bloom, which I hope brightens up your day…
P.S. The pink peony photography is my favourite in today’s blog post. What’s yours?
(Images : Clive Nichols)