Back to Flowers

After several weeks of posts that have pretty much steered clear of my normal subject matter, I’m back to sharing macro shots of flowers.

But before I start I want to point out something about my photos; especially flower photos.  Last year (remember almost all my photos are shown on a one year lag) I started processing my files a little differently.

My objective has always been to create a photo that is something someone would enjoy looking at for awhile.  Color balance is not always a big priority with me and if adjusting tones or curves causes some minor change in color tone, I don’t worry about it too much.  I do try to keep things very realistic with regard to color (especially for insects and other wildlife) but I’m not trying to create a photo for a textbook illustration.

So last year I started “playing around” with light and dark in my photos.  I intentionally started emphasizing the darkness around the subject and adding brightness to the subject in selected spots, depending on the natural lighting and whether I wanted to emphasize or deemphasize that light.  This has helped me reduce some of the boredom and loss of interest in photographing flowers as I now look forward to “what can I do to make this look more interesting or pleasing.  Of course it also means I now spend a lot more time processing, which I don’t like, but for now the tradeoff is worth it.  Most of these flower shots show how I am now processing my photos.


Daylilies colored dark red to maroon are in the top of my list of favorite flowers to photograph.  Unlike so many other red flowers these do not cause me problems with exposure.  With most red flowers I seem to have problems capturing detail in the petals due to either over or under exposure. I’m not sure why the daylilies are easier for me, but I think it might have something to do with the texture of their petals – much “meatier” than most.


Rudbeckia in full bloom.


Another example of my favorite


This is a bachelor button from a garden up the street from me.


I’m not sure what this is.  At first I was going to say rudbeckia, but the bud on the right doesn’t look like a rudbeckia.  It might be a gaillardia.  I only had them for a short time (a few days of monsoon type rains and standing water did them in) so I don’t have a good memory of them.


Definitely a rudbeckia and in my favorite stage of its lifecycle.  I just love the thin little petals acting like fingers protecting the inside of the bud.


Another bachelor button, or maybe the same one.  Note how the sepal has a Art Deco look similar to the sepals of zinnias.  The design is similar to the top of the Chrysler Building in Manhattan, New York.


I don’t remember if this just regular grass seed or ornamental.


I’ll end the post the way I opened, with a shot of a daylily.  I love the way the filaments and style seem to be emerging from molten lava.


Thank you for stopping by.


All photos taken with a Nikon D7100 and a Sigma 105mm macro lens.

8 thoughts on “Back to Flowers

    • Thank you Ziggy. I really like the Sigma. Before buying I read all the reviews I could for it and the Nikkor 105mm which Nikon calls a micro. Based on the reviews I couldn’t see that the Nikkor had any advantage that outweighed its higher price. Plus I got the Sigma on sale for an even bigger saving over the Nikkor and I have had no regrets going with the Sigma. My other four lenses are all Nikkor and I am very happy with them too.


  1. Your final daylily is my favourite because of the sheeny textures and rich colours. It’s interesting to read your thoughts on processing and your aim to produce an image the eye wants to linger over. I try to prevent the greens from seeming too bright when I am processing my own images, but funnily enough, I like the effect here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you on the greens. Sometimes I’ll use the Hue/Saturation tool to globally tone down the greens and, depending on the nature of the green, tone down the yellows too. That’s best case. Worst case is that the greens are also in the subject so I have to manually select the pieces I want to adjust. Often a very time consuming process to do it so the edges don’t give it away that something has been done.

      Liked by 1 person

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