Lilium pardalinum

This was shot in one of the redwood forests on the northern CA coast, possibly Prairie Creek. The camera and processing at the time were probably not as capable as today’s for capturing accurate color. It’s a focus stack and uncharacteristically, I saved the individual frames. When I have time I’ll see if I can improve color accuracy in the raw files.

I was looking for a single flower to focus stack and had the tripod very low to show the underside of the flower. The flowers hang down and I vividly remember lying on my side in a muddy ditch trying to see the back screen or through the viewfinder, because the camera was pointed awkwardly up and the flower was low.

Specific Feedback Requested

All comments welcome!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon 5DMk II, Sigma 180mm macro, 1/90 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800. Focus stack of 7 with Zerene Stacker. Minimal adjustments, some BG cloning on the stem for distractions.


Nicely done, Diane! This species is almost identical to the Columbia Lily/Tiger Lily we have here in the PNW, one of my very favorite wildflowers.

You did an excellent job of capturing the set of images to focus stack, and kudos for getting down low for this POV, looking up into the important parts of the flower.

I don’t think you need to go back to the individual frames to correct color. That should be possible in the stacked image created by Zerene Stacker as long as the file created was a TIFF or PSD*; correcting a JPG could be a little more problematic. The color of the blossom itself looks very true to life to me; the background might benefit from some hue/color temp adjustment.

Your composition is very good, although I’d experiment with cropping a bit off the top so that the blossom wasn’t so much “bulls-eyed” in the center of the frame. Alternatively, if what you posted is cropped, perhaps you could try a different crop with more room on the bottom and a little less on the top. A slight amount of vignetting might also help emphasize the beauty of this wonderful flower.

  • I don’t have the latest version of Zerene Stacker to know if it has this capability, but the pro version of Helicon Focus lets you import RAW files and export the stacked file in DNG raw format for further processing in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw.
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Thanks @GregVaughn. I’m not a botanist so can’t give an accurate ID by any means. Zerene takes exported TIFF subs and returns a TIFF so yes, I could probably do a good correction on this file – IF I had confidence in the raw source files for the TTFFs. In 10 years the LR profiles for color may have improved. JPEGs – no way I would use one!

Agreed on the crop (there is room) and vignette. I’m eager to start over with this one. Color tweaks were to the greens and didn’t affect the flower.

AND – interesting information about Helicon. THANK YOU! I had used it years ago and abandoned it for Zerene due to issues with major overlaps. Will look again.


No time to redo the stack now but the best cc I can do on the raw files gives a deeper orange.

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Beautifully captured, Diane. This is a different variety than the ones I saw. It doesn’t have the black at the end of the stamens in the middle. These are all yellow! Really interesting!

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That’s because the flower is fresher. They turn black as the flower is ready to fade. That may account for some of the color difference too, but that’s only speculation on my part.


A sweet shot, Diane. Thanks for getting all muddy for us. I think I’ve been to Prairie Creek, too at one point. Is there a visitors center on that property? All the redwood places kind of run together since it’s been a while.

Agreed about maybe a little crop, but the colors look natural to me and the sharpness is great. I don’t do a lot of flower stacking because of breeziness, but maybe I should. Seems like Zerene can manage the slight shifts just fine.

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I can’t comment on the focus stacking because I’ve never done it but the colors, while not vivid, are certainly very pleasing., and the image is sharp A nice angle for composition, and I personally really like the bg. Nicely done.

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Diane: Your effort was well worth the final result. I’m very OK with the color portrayal and especially like your POV. Marvelous shot. >=))>

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