Virginia Bluebells

The Virginia Bluebells ( Mertensia virginica) are just starting to bloom so I went to a local Wildlife Refuge where they have large stands of Bluebells to see what I could find. I found myself attracted to backlit situations where the glow of the backlit leaves behind the flowers made the cool day feel much warmer. (5D3, 180mm macroL, 1/250 s, f/9, iso 400, tripod)



I too love the glow of the greens when back lit like this - A definite plus to your image here. And yet the Bluebell(s?) itself stand out beautifully, are front and center and the glowing greens are rather a beautiful backdrop rather than a distraction.

My only suggestion is a good 20% crop off the left. Perhaps this is more of a personal choice, but in my mind the way the flower is angled off to the right, the extra space on the left seems to take away a little bit. I would compare this to a wildlife image of an animal like a deer, elk, wolf, or even flying birds… to always have more room in front of them for implied movement. Ok, so I know the flower is roaming free, nor flying in the frame, but hopefully it makes sense relative to the space to the left. Did that make any sense?


I love this kind of backlit shot, Mark - and this one is beautifully handled. You’ve got the shaded flowers nicely visible and sharp, and they look great against the sunlit bg. I might agree with Lon about the possible side crop but I really wouldn’t take much off because I think that oof leaf to the L does a nice job of lending interest to the bg there.

Mark: I’ve only had rare encounters with bluebells so this is a treat. I can see a crop like Lon mentioned but the OOF leaf works for me as is. I love the challenge of light like this and you met it nicely. Top notch shot. >=))>

Mark, this is just beautiful. I am not familiar with the bluebells, but it certainly is a beautiful flower, and you have presented it nicely.

Lovely, Mark. The colors in this really stand out. I would agree with Lon and the others about cropping the left to make the flower be in the center; it feels off-balance as it is.
Excellent job of getting a great image like this in what looks like bright sunshine. Gorgeous flower.
None of that here in Alaska. It was +1 deg F this morning, and things are still completely snowed under. Completely!

Hi Mark,

Backlit bluebells look very nice. Try Lon’s suggested crop. When I photograph slipper orchids. I use something like Lon’s crop by having less space on the stem side. Other than that, a fine photo indeed…Jim