Big red is actually my neighbor's tulip from his flowerbed that's just over my backyard fence. He planted big huge red and yellows and I couldn't resist. I felt like it made the perfect December image, still beautiful and Spring and lively and bright but with the typical Christmas colors.
Thanks for spending the year with my 2017 Bloom Calendar! I hope it's brightened up the first of every month.
The hazy daises. Kind of a fun image and how it was created is unique too. This was one of the first images I took with, what I affectionately call, my 'franken-lens'.
The lens is a Vivitar 1 telephoto that I used to use on my Canon AE-1. I now shoot a Nikon DSLR, and I picked up a fairly inexpensive adapter so the lens would mount on my newer camera. Because of the adapter glass, it kind of creates this weird kind of effect when the light bounces through it.
Again, as you can see below, I shot this a touch underexposed and brightened in post. Otherwise the shot is pretty much straight out of camera.
I can't remember where I snapped these guys. I know what I liked in the lens was how it looks like the flowers to the left are almost leaning in to whisper something to the flowers on the right. Kind of a unique sort of scene.
This image was taken at Bergeson Nursery in Fertile, MN. I went with my Aunt to look at the flower and the way that all of these seemed to layer together caught my eye. I believe I also took some images at different field depths and settled on the focus being in the middle 'layer' of the image on the purples.
If you're ever in Fertile, I highly recommend you stop by. It's a beautiful property and the flowers are gorgeous.
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.
This one is a coneflower that was by my mailbox, I think I purchased it pre-grown from a flower store or something like that. What drew me to take this particular image was the flow given off by the way the light hit the flower. I feel like it almost has a solar type of feel, kind of like an alien landscape.
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Another bulb growing experience, these also didn't live for more than a couple of years. This image was taken the first year they bloomed and that was the best year, after this they came up I think one more year but they were mostly just leaves and not many flowers. This is a tulip also, and I loved this variety because of the vibrant colors. I vaguely remember the image when I selected the variety and the petals were all uniform to some degree like a typical cupped tulip, but when they opened I got this vibrant crazy thing. All those curls just begged to be photographed up close and personal.
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My stargazer lily! This was also grown from a bulb as a labor of love. Also, like the tulips, I planted these in far too shady a spot because I had no idea what I was doing. This guy, however, lived for many years and got bigger each year...until last year my husband decided to 'help' weed my overgrown flower bed and ripped it out! Needless to say I was pretty ticked at husband over this one, he could've probably set fire to anything else on our lot but this one flower and it was the one thing he demolished. :( He meant well though, and, to be fair, felt pretty bad about it.
Fortunately, I still have the images and I guess it paves the way to plant something else.
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I planted these tulips from bulbs. Probably one of the first 'plant in the Fall bulb' experiments I ever did. They only lived for a couple of years because I planted them in far too shady of a spot, but you live and you learn! This is a fairly early flower image and was taken with my D100. I always did like the bulb that's reaching up to the left of the frame and a hint of the other kind I'd planted (the red and yellow) peeking out underneath.
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Again with the curves! This one caught my eye just because of the way the wind was bending over what appears on the surface to be rather gentle rods. Also, again, the fuzziness and the symmetry of the little spines is another element I'm drawn to. The color was a WOW - I want eyeshadow or a shirt or something this kind of dusty pink.
For this image it's less about the macro elements also and more about the depth of field and using the green foliage as a backdrop to highlight the colors.
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Melissa Niederkorn is a photographer based in Forest Lake, Minnesota.