Orangeburg Daylilies: Part 1
Most of my rose works are from the Edisto Memorial Gardens in Orangeburg, and I’ve written about the gardens and adjacent areas in previous posts. It’s a great resource to have relatively close by. Too much time had passed since I last visited, so I decided a road trip was in order. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a single subject worthy of closer inspection in any section of the roses I initially examined. I think the early Spring with the warm weather and then the hard freeze caused a lot of subtle problems with our flora. After checking out all the gardens on the east side, I decided to head toward the ponds. That was a good decision because I walked right up on a part of the gardens that didn’t exist the last time I had been there. A whole new section of daylilies had been planted and they were looking really good.
The colors in my Garden Gem piece immediately drew me in. The pastels combined with the oranges, yellows, and greens were all very attractive. The most prominent outside anthers were placed on the upper crossing lines, using the rule of thirds, so that the stamen came up into the foreground from the throat of the flower. I focused on the rightmost foreground anther and let everything else fall where it was in the zone of sharpness. The high level of captured detail allows texture and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.
I simply could not deny the bright yellows of the daylily in Outreach, and they, by themselves, forced me to create it. Artistically, the sweeping arcs of the filaments and being able to see them from their origination point in the flower’s throat coming out into the foreground of the frame was my highest priority. And while I didn’t care that much where the anthers were in relation to any of the grid lines, using the rule of thirds, the center of the group is very near the rightmost lower crossing line. In fact, I used that particular anther as my focal point which tends to subtly increase the importance of its placement. Sometimes we just get lucky and other aesthetic concerns drive a composition into a familiar layout without consciously trying. Surface textures on the anthers can be seen thanks to the high level of captured detail.
Thanks to the time I spent with Bob Yonce and the wonderful daylilies he grows on his farm, I was aware of chicken fat. Upon finding the flower in my Chiffon piece, I immediately wanted to feature that aspect of it by prominently placing it along the edges of the frame. Because the anthers were in such a nice tight grouping, I placed them so that the bottom was very near the lower, rightmost crossing line, using the rule of thirds. Those two artistic decisions also allowed the filaments to arch up and out of the flower’s throat and the ribs in the main petal to arc up and out as it stretches upward. Here too, the high level of detail allows surface textures and pollen to be seen.
The gorgeous purple colors in Excitingly Grape grabbed my attention and held it. I also liked how the inner colors form an ellipse as they transition from a light purple, to white, then yellow, and finally green. The anthers were in a group here as well so I placed the anther farthest to the right on the upper, rightmost crossing line, using the rule of thirds. That particular angle caused the arched rib lines behind the anthers, that emanate in the background, to come up and out from the flower’s throat into the middleground. And the flow of the stamen and stigma arcs echo those lines. The diagonal lines in the foreground pleats act as short leading lines that lead to the focal point. To ensure that I had good sharpness on that area as well as the other anthers, I used focus stacking. That aesthetic decision also allowed me to keep the stigma in the zone of sharpness. Surface textures and tiny dew drops along the anther edges are both visible due to the high level of captured detail. This was one of my favorites from the outing and would have made the trip worthwhile all by itself.