Trillium's Composition Input

I found this nice group of Trillium’s in Shenandoah National Park last month. I took numerous closeup images of individual flowers but wanted something that shows the group as they are found. I tried to get a forest floor with something besides dead leaves so I located this group with a rock and some lichen. Started to move some of the leaves away but that did not look the way I found it so I left everything alone.

Any input on composition appreciated.

Nikon D500 Nikon 85mm macro lens, fill flash, 1/80, F16, ISO 500

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I absolutely love this plant! I was similarly shooting a group of 4 Western White Trillium here in Northern California, just a couple months back.

Compositionally, my eye is drawn to the group of three on the left…they have a wonderfully dynamic, expressive character together. Have you considered a more vertical/squarish crop featuring just those three? I also think some vignetting in the frame would help the trillium to pop a little more. You are tight enough on the group that this reads like a species portrait to me, in which case I would work to make them stand out a little more.

Overall, this a very nice and peaceful forest vignette. And beautifully exposed!



Andrew: Wonderful little scene. I envy your nearness to trillium. We don’t have them in our part of the world. Refreshing take on this intimate view.>=))>

Thanks for the comments. Here is a repost from Sean’s suggestion.

Thoughts ?

You know what Andrew - I take it back! When I look at that crop, what jumps out to me is that the Trillium look kind of squatty because their bases are cut off at the edge of the frame. I don’t think the composition is bad, but comparing it with the original…I prefer the original. Apologies!

I do like the vignetting though :slight_smile:

Gotta say - you captured that group at their absolute best. Their most vigorous and healthy bloom. I love when that happens with flowers in the wild.


I initially was thinking the same as Sean - that thee cluster on the left would make for a great image of the flower and leave. I like your crop - although it seems darker; I like the crop, but maybe not so dark?

Having said that, I really think your original presentation works well not only compositionally, but in also telling the story of the environment these plants are found in. The odd number of flowers is nicely balanced and I even like the two little invaders at the bottom. The rock and the leaf litter all work nicely.

Is it me, or is the flower on the right a little more pink than the rest? I’m not all that familiar so I don’t know if there are natural variations. Just thought I would mention.



Thanks for the input. In years past I usually tried to isolate one trillium flower or just do a macro shot of the flower itself. This year the trillium’s were exceptionally beautiful and I wanted something different. I searched for clusters to show the environment they live in and I am pleased that the comments reflect that view. There are different shades of trillium and you spotted the one in the frame that was not pure white. Look closely as there is an ant marching across one of the flowers too.

I appreciate the comments and try to learn from each post.

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Andrew, trillium are a personal favorite. I think your original grouping works very well. It’s a fine clump with all of the flowers fully open and looking great. I think the two little white violets make a good contrast to the trillium as they add a nice sense of the wider world as well as a fun size contrast.