Category Archives: Flowers

Clematis that Remains

This spiral structure is what remains when you don’t deadhead a Clematis flower, and leave it on the vine. You can see how the core of the flower has expanded into the spiral, and the petals have dropped away. The view below is from the underneath, or back; the front view, the top of what used to be the flower, is shown here.

Clematis © Harold Davis

Clematis © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography

Eye Dahlia

Eye Dahlia © Harold Davis

Sometimes individual flowers call out to me as so unique that I need to photograph them on their own. This rather small dahlia, photographed at the Endless Summer Dahlia Farm, made me think it I had an eye with a pupil in the center. I used my 50mm Zeiss macro with a 24mm extension tube, both on my tripod, to get close while rendering the detail well.

Also posted in Photography

Endless Summer Dahlia Farm

The Endless Summer Dahlia Farm, in Rockport, Maine, is an incredible place run by nice folks with very exceptional dahlias. Here are a few, photographed the other day.

Dahlia at the Endless Summer Farm © Harold Davis

Orange Dahlia © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Playing with Lilies

There’s nothing like a carpet of oriental lilies on my light box for photographic fun! Shown here with a few petunias, roses, and jasmine blooms to round out the prevailing pink. An L-channel LAB inversion, putting the image on a black background, is shown below.

At Play with Lilies © Harold Davis

At Play with Lilies © Harold Davis

At Play with Lilies Inversion © Harold Davis

At Play with Lilies Inversion © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Mallow and Friends

I like the way this light box image, never before blogged, shows the translucency of the rose petals with the mallow coming through, diffracted but loud and clear!

Mallow and Friends © Harold Davis

Mallow and Friends © Harold Davis

The Story of a Cactus Flower

Cactus Flower © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower © Harold Davis

Phyllis told me she saw a giant cactus flower at about camera height near the small shopping area of Kensington, California about 1/2 mile from our house when she passed through the Kensington strip in the morning. So I went up with my gear, and in a small, arid strip next to a parking lot there was indeed a barrel cactus, possibly a Ferocactus cylindraceus, with a large, white flower. The cactus seemed to be nestling in the shade of a Yucca, also in bloom and dripping sap. The flower was perhaps a foot in diameter with a yellow center (see photo above) and exuding a strong, pungent odor.

I had hoped to use my tripod, but there was a fierce wind blowing the petals of the flower, hence no real point to the tripod. Most of the images shown in this story were made with my 150mm Iris ‘Dragonfly’ macro hand-held, with the aperture pretty close to wide open (f/2.8).

My thought was to come back in a few hours in the early evening, when the light would be softer, and perhaps the wind would have died down. But when I got back, the bloom was off the cactus. This indeed is an illustration of the ephemeral nature of beauty: the flower had a lifespan of less than a day.

Cactus Flower Detail I © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail I © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail II © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail II © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail III © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail III © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail IV © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail IV © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail V © Harold Davis

Cactus Flower Detail V © Harold Davis

Also posted in Monochrome, Photography

Angel’s Trumpets

Phyllis and Nicky came home with this branch from an Angel’s Trumpets shrub (of the Brugmansia genus). They had cropped it from an overhanging specimen in the neighborhood. Since Brugmansia flowers wilt almost instantly, I hurried to photograph it on my light box.

Angel's Trumpets © Harold Davis

Angel’s Trumpets © Harold Davis

Some interesting facts about Angel’s Trumpets: The common name of this plant and flower comes from the large, trumpet-shaped flowers that Brugmansia shrubs and bushes exhibit. A close relative of Datura, Brugmanisa is highly toxic, and is one of the most poisonous decorative plants. Although fairly popular in gardens, Brugmansia is extinct in the wild. It is believed that the extinction of some animal responsible for spreading the seeds of the Brugmansia became extinct, causing the plant extinction in the wild, although of course the plant continues to exist as a human cultivar.

In the past, several South American cultures have used Brugmansia to discipline naughty children, so that they might be scolded by their ancestors in the spirit world, and become better behaved. Mixed with other psychogenic agents, maize beer and tobacco leaves, it has also been used to drug wives and slaves before they were buried alive with their dead master.

Another beautiful but deadly flower: Gloriosa Lily.

Also posted in Photography

Fresh from the Garden

This relatively straightforward yet elegant (if I say so myself) light box composition uses flowers directly from our garden.

Campanulas, Poppies, and a Clematis © Harold Davis

Campanulas, Poppies, and a Clematis © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Papaver Triptych

The Nearly Perfect Poppy close-up is the center panel of the Triptych. Click here or on the image to view it larger.

Papaver Triptych © Harold Davis

Papaver Triptych © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Nearly Perfect Poppy

Waking up to a morning of partial sunshine, I saw this new, glowing, orange Poppy blossom in the plantings along our front porch. It was definitely dappled and dawn-drawn. Although I have met and photographed many fine Papavers in my life, this one seemed nearly perfect to me in every way.

Nearly Perfect Poppy © Harold Davis

Nearly Perfect Poppy © Harold Davis

If you are interested in how I photographed this flower, I brought it indoors and suspended it over a black velvet background. I used diffused sunlight for ambient backlighting, and added an LED macro flash for fill from both sides. The camera was my D850 on a heavy-duty RRS tripod. I used 60mm of extension tubes with my 85mm Nikkor t/s macro. A +4 close-up filter graced the business end of the lens.

I exposed for 30 seconds at ISO 64 and an effective aperture of f/64.

Also posted in Photography

Papaver Rhoeas Medley

It was fun to spend a slow weekend morning with the family at home. Everyone was engaged, no one was bored or whining or hungry. I photographed flowers from our garden: Poppies, delphiniums, and roses. The idea was to make a great color explosion. The music to photograph by was Pink Floyd and Bizet’s Carmen. The central flowers are Papaver rhoeas ‘Falling in Love’.

Papaver Rhoeas Medley © Harold Davis

Papaver rhoeas Medley © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Lost in the folds of a rose

It’s easy for me to get lost in the folds of a rose. Each petal is a curve and a valley, and a landscape of pleasure. Why go anywhere else besides the country of the rose? Roses from this bush in our garden smell at least as good as good as they look. Here’s to getting lost in the folds of a rose!

Old-Fashioned Rose © Harold Davis

Old-Fashioned Rose © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Baby’s Breath

I brought home some flowers, and arranged them into bouquets. A small sprig of Baby’s Breath (Gyposphila) broke off, and I put it in a little glass jar. The stem looked almost like a bonsai in the water, and I photographed the stem and flowers on a light box, using a macro light to fill in the white cloud of flowers.

Baby's-Breath © Harold Davis

Baby’s-Breath © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Home, Peonies, and Irises

I’ve been traveling a month and a day—with x-ray photography, a lovely group in Paris (the after-hours session in Monet’s garden at Giverny was probably my favorite part), and a trek on the Camino Portuguese. How great to come home to family, and a house filled with flowers for me to photograph!

Sunset at Sea © Harold Davis

Somehow my adventures of the past month feel like a dream, but also it feels like a dream to be here now. Which is a dream, and which is real life?

Peonies and Irises on White © Harold Davis

Peonies and Irises on Black © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Giverny Afternoon

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

I visited Monet’s wonderful garden at Giverny with my small group of photographers. In the late afternoon, we had the garden mostly to ourselves and were able to photograph in the golden light.

Giverny Afternoon © Harold Davis

Also posted in France, Photography