Luck rains in

Spring is here officially, but we’ll probably get walloped by another snowstorm between now and May. I’m itching for greenery and flowers and the buzzing of bees. So I’m playing with some shots from last year that I quite like and thinking about how I can shoot the same old stuff in new ways. That’s what this image represents for me.

It’s round-lobed hepatica growing in my side yard. Hepatica is one of the first spring ephemerals to come up although I’m not sure it qualifies since the leaves persist all year, staying green even through winter. This was taken in August and I spied it because of how oddly bare the ground is. The woods on either side of me are sometimes knee deep in leaf litter and so to have a small section like this totally bare is very weird indeed.

So I got the tripod and had a go at shooting it. I didn’t clean it up at all. Honest.

Specific Feedback Requested

Does it work or is it too weird? I didn’t notice it when it was blooming (if it was), but I can check again and see if it’s still this bare or has filled in. I might add some space at the bottom…or is that unnecessary?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Lumix G9
LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 (90.0 mm in 35mm)
f/11 | 1.6 sec | ISO 200
Tripod w/camera facing basically straight down.

Tried to get as much in the same focal plane as possible so it was sort of on a slant. I may have manually focused using focus peaking to make sure I got all those lovely leaves. Probably used a polarizer to cut the reflections on them.

Processed entirely in Lr for the usual exposure adjustment, curves, clarity & texture, sharpening & NR. I don’t recall doing a lot though. I don’t think it’s cropped, but I can check in Lr later.


This is an interesting intimate study. I like how the colors of the hepatica are repeated in the moss. You asked about adding more space at the bottom. To me the most appealing part of this image is how the diagonal line of the hepatica tucks into the cleft of the rock. I’m not sure I like the significant amount of negative space in the LRC that gets introduced by adding the lone hepatica at the bottom. And adding even more real estate at the bottom would only make that issue worse for me.

If this were mine, I would try something like this, I’m usually a fan of simplification

The moss is not a sharp as it could be, the DOF difference between the hepatica lobes and the moss is enough to create an issue. This image would be a good candidate for using focus stacking. When you are doing closeups like this focus stacking can make a big difference.

Thanks Ed. I like the crop. And yeah, I’ll be experimenting with stacking more this year. I’m sure this could have benefited from it.

Ed’s crop was my first thought when seeing this image… Five little leaves surrounded by moss and stone. I like that. There is a relatively strong reflection on the leaves hiding some of their structure. A polariser might help, but also a black umbrella. Nevertheless a vey nice little scene.

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