Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

More white

with 8 comments

Close view of a rain-lily, Cooperia pedunculata.

The clammyweed I found in my neighborhood the other day was a bonus: I’d gone out that morning to look for another white flower, the rain-lily, several of which I’d begun seeing around town a few days after a sudden and much-welcome rainfall, the only one in a month. Shown here is a detailed and somewhat abstract view of a rain-lily. It’s a soft portrait, with my focus being selectively on some of the pink veins in the otherwise bright white of the tepal at the right. Those interspersed lines of color, as appealing as I found them, and as you may find them too too, are a sign that this flower had already peaked in freshness; by the next day the pink would have spread and turned to magenta as the flower shriveled into non-existence.

As I mentioned when posting the detailed picture of a bluebell a couple of weeks ago, some people don’t like views that crop off parts of the subject. Over the past decade I’ve taken many pictures that show a full rain-lily flower, so, not wanting to repeat myself, a few years ago I began experimenting with more abstract views like this one (though I still take pictures of complete rain-lilies too).

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

(For more information about this species, including a clickable map showing where it grows, you can visit the USDA website.)

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 29, 2011 at 6:31 AM

8 Responses

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  1. Beautiful! 🙂

    Henriette Flatsetø

    June 29, 2011 at 6:34 AM

    • Thanks, Henriette. This is the first comment I’ve ever gotten from Norway. What different wildflowers you must have up there!

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2011 at 6:59 AM

  2. Nice focus on this Steve. I would probably have had trouble getting the center and side petals both in focus.


    June 29, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    • Thanks. Being as close as I was and using natural light (not flash), there was no way I was going to get most things in focus, so I happily entered the realm of the soft.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2011 at 12:25 PM

  3. Of course I had to check out your next white flower today. I was getting worried something was off with my monitor settings and I was inadvertently producing bleak pictures.
    This lily looks a teensy bit too bright here. I turned the brightness of my monitor down a wee bit, but not too much, I checked with photos from other sites. Both petals in the front come out perfect, the structure of the center petal can not be seen in all places, but mostly.
    I think we both like bright, saturated colours a lot and your photo and my monitor setting may end up being a little too much of a good thing occasionally.
    The photo definitely shows a very individual perspective. I think the pink veins come out great.


    June 29, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    • Sorry to put you through so much monitor checking. The tepal in the back of the picture has the brightest patches in the photograph; there’s little detail in those brightest areas, which is probably why they look pure white on your monitor. At my end I see those brightest areas as a very light gray.

      In any case, I’m glad you enjoy the pink veins, which to my mind make the picture. I remember getting excited to see them through the viewfinder when I was down on the ground focusing and framing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM

  4. […] and their edges have a visual texture surprisingly like that of ice. Unlike this morning’s equally close view of a rain-lily, this one lets you see the color that can appear in the tip of a […]

  5. […] rather than the larger ones shown in the springtime of this blog in a first post and then a second post on June […]

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