The quintessential daisy image from the cover. This guy was taken in Ely, MN just off of Fall Lake. We were camping with friends and I found him. I'm looking almost directly down upon the daisy and using an extremely shallow depth of field and my 60 macro lens to capture this guy.
What I'm especially drawn to is the center of the flower here. Again, symmetry and swirl and all that shape. I love the softness of the white petals and the completely obscured background. I assure you, this was shot outdoors and not against a backdrop or something like that - the green is just very blurred because the daisy had a lot of height and I used a very shallow depth of field.
Now I'm going to share a little secret, and hopefully this doesn't completely tarnish my reputation. Haha! I did clean up an imperfect spot or two on the petals in post production.
Here's a before and after so you can get an idea of my process. I don't usually alter a flower in a such a manner, but I didn't want the imperfections in the petals to detract from the focus of the center of the flower. Also, you'll notice that I adjust the color and the lighting slightly. My original of this image was a bit underexposed, but I sometimes shoot that way on purpose so I can bring up the image without losing the details in the whites. I also like the grain that it produces for certain images.
Melissa Niederkorn is a photographer based in Forest Lake, Minnesota.