A star is born

Yes, I do still shoot wildflowers. It was a tough day for them, wind-wise, but I had a go while I was at the Prairie River this past Sunday. The place is covered in so many species that I curse the breeze every time I’m there. Backgrounds are also a challenge, particularly with tall, solitary flowers like this Nodding trillium.

This time I tried out a little dramatic lighting with my LED panel - I wish I could have gotten the camera lower, but I couldn’t and this was the tallest nodding trillium I could find. I moved the light around to many positions and angles, but like this one because it isn’t catching the stem too much and shows off the texture in the lead petal and those marvelous leaves. Nodders are becoming a favorite. Makes me almost forget my beloved Painted trillium from New Hampshire.

Specific Feedback Requested

Anything to improve is welcome

Technical Details

Camera on GorillaPod, LED panel on an arm so I could stay close to the camera to see the screen, plus it’s easier to control on an articulating arm than it is just to hold it. No CPL for this since I needed all the light I could get.


Lr for initial RAW work including a little exposure boost and some white balance adjustment. The usual adds for clarity, texture, sharpening and nr. I wanted to keep it soft though. Photoshop to remove a distraction and then use a color mask to bring up the salmon in the stamens. Applied clarity to the mid-tones only using a luminosity mask. This adds nice definition without getting too crunchy. Then I used the Saturation mask to isolate the over-the-top greens and tame them. The idea was drama with softness, like a screen queen of the 1940s.

1 Like

Wow, just wow. Yes, you still shoot wildflowers–and very well too!

I really like the luminosity here. And I am amazed that you got so much in focus with an f/3.5 shot. Well done. I can’t think of a thing I would change, Kris. This is very special.


Thanks @David_Bostock - depending on your perspective, the additional DOF that Micro 4/3rd produces is a sticking point - sometimes people like it, as I do with shots like this, but extreme bokeh worship has come into fashion, so some hate it.

I can’t believe I found such a pristine specimen and am glad I caught it. I tried another, but a spider set up housekeeping on the top of one leaf and some of her leftovers were just too much to deal with.

Kris you have some very nice bokeh in this image, so the 4/3rd deal is not an issue, in my view. You have a wonderful image here that would look awesome printed large.

I like the texture of the petal and the limited DOF works very well for this image. I bet this would look very nice as a classic black and white print too. Awesome photo…Jim

Kris: This is a spectacular comp and capture of a wonderful subject. Love your POV and your DOF/POF choices especially. Superbly crafted image.>=))>

Thanks again @David_Bostock and to @Jim_Zablotny and @Bill_Fach, too. It was fiddly to catch this, but I’m glad I put in the time. Luckily it was too cold for mosquitoes and it hadn’t hailed yet, which it did a little while later. Just to keep me on my toes.