Photographing Floral Jewelry

Today’s Post by Steven Dillon

“Jewelry” is one of my favorite compositions and is one of those pieces where I had the feeling that it could be something special even before reviewing it using the camera’s Live View.

The image was created one fine summer morning while composing images of daylilies at the Yonce Farm near Ridge Spring, SC. The water drops are from a sprinkler system that had run earlier in an area of the gardens I had previously avoided because I didn’t want to kneel in mud and there was so much beauty where I was working that at times it was difficult to choose the next subject.

When the owner of the farm asked if it would be OK if he watered some of his flowers, I assured him that water can create excellent conditions and I considered the drops to be like jewelry that sparkle and add visual interest. Additionally, the wet surfaces bring out the colors by increasing perceived saturation. Since it was almost time for me to pack up and head back home, I decided a quick look at the watered flowers was in order. That turned out to be a good decision.

If there had been a contest that day for the best-looking daylily, I would have selected this one as the winner and, believe me, it had some serious competition (as evidenced by the other photographs that I created during the trip). For me, this photograph is eye candy because: the colors are stunning, the stamen and anthers are bold and attractive, the center highlights have a sun star-like quality, and the water drops are icing on the cake.

The photograph was created using a tripod-mounted Canon 5D Mark III with an EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens with an exposure of 0.6 sec at f/22 and ISO. No flash was used, just late morning light. Tripod used was a Gitzo with Arca Swiss B1head.

Steven Dillon is a fine art and nature photographer based in Aiken, South Carolina and loves to shoot big (landscapes) and small (macro and extreme macro.) His goal is to utilize photographic tools to create compositions that are emotive and embody the feelings or fascination he had at the moments his works are digitally recorded.

Author: Joe Farace

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