September 24, 2009 – Daisies



Thursday, September 24, 2009

And here we are again. Another day, another picture. I think these are daisies. But, to be fair, I think just about any flower I see these days is a daisy. There’s a lot of different daisies, so I figure if I guess “daisy”, I’ve got at least a 50-50 shot of getting it right, right?

This is another shot that I took in the Woodland Park Rose Garden. In fact, you’ve seen these exact flowers before – remember that shot with the bee? I mean, it’s probably not the EXACT flowers, but it’s at least part of the same bush. But, to be fair, they’re really photogenic.

What makes them photogenic? Funny you should ask that. So, everyone knows that flowers are pretty. That’s sort of the point of flowers. But not all flowers make for great pictures. Flowers that are really really red tend to turn out pretty badly for me. The deep red just overloads the sensor, so you get this jumbled mess than can be painful to look at. Actually, if you’re taking a picture that contains almost entirely one super-bold color, any color, your camera may have trouble with it. Red seems to be the worst for me, although deep blues and purples can be really tough too. (And the dark green trees we have so many of out here in the PNW make forest-y pictures pretty tough sometimes.)

So, I’ve found that the best flowers for pictures are the ones with the most contrast. Multi-colored petals (like these!) are awesome. It keeps the picture interesting, gives your eye something to chew on, it breaks up the uniform field of one color. Also, if the middle part stands out from the rest (don’t you love my grasp of flower vocabulary?), that’s even better. That’s another reason I love these in particular – they’re perfect!

There’s other reasons that certain flowers can be tough though. For instance, flowers that have a lot of depth are hard. Because then you have to choose which part of the flower you want in focus. Things like rhododendrons or [ fill in another flower with long spindly things in the middle ] are really bad for that. if you’re using a setup with a really small depth of field (well hello, reverse-mount lens attachment), this is especially a problem. Of course, you could also look at it as an opportunity to get really artsy, if you’re the optimistic type.

One last thing – with flower pictures, keep your background in mind. It’s easy to turn an otherwise fantastic shot into something that’s just ordinary by including something ugly, like a sidewalk or a building, in the fuzzy part of the frame. Keeping dark green plant-stuff or super-blurry other flowers can make something nice for your foreground to pop out of. It’s all about the contrast.

Before I go, one quick note: I’ve sold out of my original test-run of 3 calendars, so let me know SOON if you want one, I’m going to put in another order. They’re on sale right now at the website where I printed them (I used Shutterfly), so they’re about 14 dollars plus however much it costs to send to you (I’m not making any profit on these), but at some point they’ll go back to regular price, which is $20. I’ll order a few extras, but not many, it’d be easier if you just told me you want one now. Email me at: dave (at) .

That’s it, now you can go back to whatever you were doing before.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Quantaray 70-300 mm lens. 1/250s, f/18.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 218mm.

Subscribe to the Picture of the Day via: a feed reader (RSS) or email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *