Photographer Sheryl Ball shares an artistic view of our natural environment through her virtual garden. See more of her work on her website.
I’ve always loved gardening and flowers, regularly visiting Southern California public gardens while attempting to grow various plants and flowers on my patio. For many years I traveled the world shooting with either a point-and-shoot or cell phone camera.
I did not know the difference between a bus stop and an f-stop.
I began to actually learn photography following a career-ending medical emergency. My occupational therapist recommended that I write, so I started a blog. Of course, every blog must have photos, so I bought my first DSLR camera.
As I learned about the exposure triangle and precisely what an f-stop was, I joined several local Meetup groups to practice shooting various subjects. I shot everything from street photography to portraits and nature. I quickly learned that nature was my photographic passion.
I love photographing out in nature and sharing the emotions I feel through my photography and digital artistry skills. My followers and art buyers enjoy living vicariously through my camera lens. My initial focus was on florals shot with a shallow depth of field to create a dreamy blur. I also began to explore landscape photography through workshops and independent travel experiences.
As my skills grew, I became interested in creating more abstract work with my camera and multiple exposures and using textures and other digital tools for more creative expression and interpretation of what I saw and felt in the field.
Sheryl’s Virtual Garden began as a business based on a chance encounter. A neighbor saw some of the floral images I shot in the neighborhood. She suggested I turn them into notecards, and Sheryl’s Virtual Garden was born.
I quickly expanded to include fine art prints and began to share more scenic landscapes and even a few birds in my portfolio.
Attendees always think I am a painter when they visit my booth at art festivals and shows. Although my images often have a “painterly” look, every image begins as a photograph. In post-processing, I decide whether to continue down the straight photo path or go down the fork in the road for that painterly look.
My formal art education comes from an interior architecture and design perspective. As a result, I offer clients the ability to custom order my prints in the size and on the media that is right for their space via my Sheryl’s Virtual Garden website.
All prints are available on paper, canvas, metal, or acrylic. I still offer a limited-edition collection of note cards that were born from that neighborhood chat in addition to my fine-art prints.