As I spent the morning composing the pieces presented in this series of posts, Bob continued on with his chores. Folks were stopping in to walk around and select the plants they wanted to buy and he would spend time with them answering their questions, gathering their wares, and completing transactions. At one point, Bob asked if it would be OK if he watered some of his flowers. Now, just to set this scene, here I am – a non-paying guest grateful to have been allowed on the premises – with an entire field of subjects to pick from and he’s asking me if it would be alright if he turned the sprinklers on in an area that I wasn’t even in. To me, that is the epitome of being considerate and just another reason why I can say from the heart what kind people I feel they are. I wouldn’t have put up a fuss or any kind of argument even if it meant that I had to pack up and go home. I told him to do whatever he needed and assured him that water can create fantastic conditions and that I considered the drops to be like jewelry that sparkle and add visual interest.
I had stayed out of the area that he watered since I didn’t want to kneel in a potentially muddy spot and I had plenty of other subjects to pick from. But as it was nearing the time that I had to go, I decided to do a quick check before packing up. That turned out to be a very good decision.
Jewelry is another one of those pieces where I had the feeling it could be something special before even reviewing it in the camera. After processing the RAW file, it immediately became one of my personal favorites, and I feel that this composition, by itself, made the trip out there worthwhile and successful. If there had been a contest that day for the best looking daylily, I would have selected this one as the winner. For me, this is eye candy because: the colors are stunning, the stamen and anthers are bold and attractive, the center highlights have a sunstar-like quality, and the water drops are icing on the cake. The high level of detail allows surface textures and reflections in the water drops to be seen.
I hope to return soon to create more works from the Yonce farm, but Bob did give an indication that he might retire from the flower business. I don’t know what that will mean for his wonderful fields of blooming art, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will maintain some kind of garden.
Upon seeing the vibrant colors of the subject in Pink Burst, I knew that I had to create a composition using that flower. I worked the camera into a position where the stamen were completely inside of the center highlights which provide a spotlight effect behind them. The center colors combined with the arcs and curves create a feeling that the stamen, following behind the stigma, have burst through the background and are now exposed and free to roam. The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.
The dark reds in Naturally Brushed create a brush stroke effect especially near the transition area to the yellows. It’s interesting because the transformation is random, uneven, and dappled as if the paint brush was nearly dry or it was purposefully lifted so that it just barely left a color change. The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.
While the fiery and vibrant colors of Stamen Tower were very appealing, the pattern that the stamen formed was equally enticing. Their tight grouping and abundant covering of pollen reminded me of a tower with the tallest anther looking like a spire. The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen here as well.
I had several goals in mind while composing my Chubby Anthers piece. Most obviously, and I think for any normal color-junkie, was capturing the gorgeous colors. Secondarily, I wanted to show more of the chicken fat that I previously wrote about. I really like how it looks and that characteristic is not something that I usually see on daylilies. I feel that it adds another dimension and increases the visual interest. But, most importantly, I was impressed by how large the anthers looked. They’re wide and give the impression of being juicy. The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.
Not being that familiar with the concept of chicken fat, I don’t know if it still carries that designation on daylilies that are of the solid color variety. I guess that’s a good question for Bob the next time I make it back out to his gardens. Nonetheless, I do appreciate the ornamental look displayed in my Ruffles piece. Here it reminds me of pleating – especially the lower creases. I also like how the stamen and stigma are so closely packed in a tight grouping which created an unusually tidy and focused area. The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual hairs and a tiny water drop on the stigma to be seen.
The subject’s arcs, curves, and ridges combined with the interior color and shape in my Independent Stamen piece really draws focus to the stamen. To compose this, I maneuvered the camera into a perspective that forced the stamen to remain within the highlighted center. I like how the main group forms what looks like flames, but, as nature is prone to do, there is a random element present and the bottom stamen appears to be off by itself. While I would have preferred it to be a bit less autonomous, it does add a certain visual interest by being alone. The high level of detail allows individual pieces of pollen and surface textures to be seen.
While there is a lot going on in the background with the ridges, color rings, and ruffles, I didn’t notice a fairly subtle characteristic of my Blue Accent piece until I processed it. There is a small area of blue highlight on the anthers where the colors transition from white to black. As I’ve written in previous posts, I love finding those little things when exploring a creation. The high level of detail allows individual pieces of pollen and surface textures to be seen here as well.
I’m not sure how many monster truck fans also have an appreciation for the beauty inside flowers, but I do believe I’ve at least hinted that I’m a bit eclectic in previous posts. The colors and shapes displayed by the subject in Grave Digger made me immediately think of that truck. The dark purples and lime greens are prominent colors in both palettes, and the pitch fork pattern that the stamen form would seem to fit well with its overall theme. The purple ring of color running through the center of the filaments bumps the sinister feeling up just a bit. The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.
The dark reds in Splatter combined with the random scattering of reds around the transition area to yellow remind me of blood. That said, I think that comes primarily from the color as it does not in any way feel gruesome to me. The vibrant, happy yellows, filament arcs, and round anther shapes control the tone. Even the two front anthers seem to be lovingly touching each other. The high level of detail allows dew, individual pieces of pollen, and surface textures to be seen.
The anthers in Bustin’ Out appear to be splitting their seams and overflowing with pollen. As a color-junkie, I obviously love the colors here, but I also like how the stamen pattern reminds me of flames. The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.
While out driving around one summer weekend near the city of Ridge Spring, I passed a field of very nice colors. Curious, I turned the car around and went back. As I pulled off the road and onto the grass I noticed a sign that read “Daylilies For Sale”. I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt to look around since this was apparently a place of business, though there wasn’t anyone in sight. As I was examining the daylilies and wonderful colors, an older gentleman came out of the nearby house. We exchanged pleasantries and I proceeded to excitedly praise the wonders my eyes had taken in. I had never seen so much beauty in one place. I’ve written about how lilies can be superb subjects in previous posts, so this was like combining every one of those flowers in a single field.
After calming down a little, I told him that I was a Fine Art and Nature Photographer and that I would love the opportunity to come back and capture some of his blooming art. He introduced himself as Bob Yonce and gave me permission to come back anytime. Bob and I continued to talk while he showed me many different types of lilies, answered questions, pointed out specific traits/characteristics, and described his love for growing and selling flowers.
As we were headed toward his house so he could show me other gardens, his wife Deloris came out and met us. What a sweet couple. They’ve been married forever and share a love of gardening. They’re just down-home, good people. They have several gardens and grow a wide variety of plants and flowers that they then prepare and take around to local venues and sell. And they sell gourds near their house on the honor system. I’m not sure what their day jobs were, but apparently the flowers and plants are more like a hobby that pays for itself and gives them a little additional spending cash.
After having spent an informative and color-filled time with the gracious and generous hosts, I informed them that I would be back as soon as the right conditions permitted it. If the wind report looked like it might be good the night before, I would get up early the next day and eagerly check it again using both local and national sources. Finally, a day arrived that had low wind speed, and I made my way back to the Yonce farm. All works here and in future parts/posts were created on that fine summer morning.
Bob was already tending to his daylilies when I arrived. He came over and we talked a bit more. I explained that I’d be using my macro rig and, as he had taken a photography class many moons ago, he understood that meant I needed the wind to be as calm as mother nature would allow. He knows his land and flowers very well and informed me that I’d be better off in the back section since it was farther away from the road and not as open. He also knew which direction the wind was coming from and felt that I would have less to deal with than had I stayed in the front where I was already set up for my first composition.
I was like a kid in a candy store. There were so many subjects that it was difficult to pick one over another. However, the anthers and colors of the flower in my Candy Anthers piece caught and held me. The yellows of the flower were quite vibrant, but the yellow and orange outside and marshmallow inside of the anthers was not something that I had come across before. The anthers reminded me of candy. The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen on the anthers.
Instead of a more or less solid color, the petals of the subject in my Red Ring piece have a conspicuous ring of color breaking them up. I also found it interesting that the stigma and filaments have a similar change of tone near their midsections. I don’t know if this configuration is specifically intended to draw pollinators in like a bullseye on a target, but I can say that it certainly had that effect on me. The high level of detail allows surface textures, individual hairs, and dew drops to be seen.
During our initial visit, Bob showed me several flowers that had a peculiarly named trait. He explained that the ornamental looking ruffles along the outside of the petals is known as chicken fat. Which was something I had never seen before on a daylily. In my Chicken Fat piece, I used the frill to create an edge along the fiery interior colors. I found the anther’s shape with their sharper points unusual, and the way they are wrapped and twisted reminded me of a flame. The high level of detail allows dew and surface textures to be seen.
The colors of the subject in Creamy Centers immediately drew me in. I love the greens, pinks, and reds. But the marshmallow-like centers and puffy yellow outsides of the candy toned anthers combined with the flowing pattern they form kept my attention. The high level of detail allows surface texture to be seen here as well.