Jo Gooding is a Birmingham-based photographer with an eye for detail, subtle shades and tones. A former exhibiter in our own Coach House Gallery, Jo is also a Project Support Officer for the University of Birmingham where, in between a busy work schedule, she makes time to indulge her passion for plants at Winterbourne. We asked Jo to lift the lid on life as a lunchtime photographer.
“I’m interested in gardening and botanical art, and I love photography, so photographing plants combines those two interests. I have been visiting Winterbourne for about ten years. I like to spend some lunchtimes there and see how it changes throughout the seasons. It’s very tranquil and relaxing.”
“I usually have my phone with me at least, even if I don’t have a camera, and often stop mid conversation to take photos! I think stopping to take a photograph makes you focus on the smaller details that you might miss just walking by.”
“It is difficult to explain how I compose a photograph… It is more of a sense as to what and when to take a photograph. I understand and use the technical aspects to photography, but I try to go with what feels like a natural composition.”
“I prefer a simple, natural style and subtle colours. I started taking colourful plant portraits and macro work but prefer abstract and more subdued tones now. Early morning or dusk can provide interesting lighting for photography rather than bright sunny days. After rain usually means the plants will be ‘greener’ and fresh looking.”
“I like abstracts of cacti and orchids at Winterbourne. They are always interesting to photograph. I tend to visit the orchid house quite a lot as I’m never sure which ones will be in flower. They usually look quite different from week to week. And the Arid House with the cacti in. Sometimes you can be lucky and they can be in bloom.”
“I also like winter scenes and how the garden looks in snow which is hard to get as we don’t always get deep snow or it’s during the closed period. Poppies are another favourite but they don’t flower for long and can be gone the next day if it’s been bad weather.”