This is one of the most difficult wildflowers to photograph because the least breath of air makes everything move and because the flowers are so large and deep in their form and structure. Also most of the flowers are relatively high up on the plant (10-20 inches) and they catch the wind more. This one was relatively close to the ground so I could rest my hand down firmly and moved the focus point around so I could do a 5-image stack. I love how the flower stems emerge from the base of the leaves. I never noticed that before. The pinwheel shape of the flower becomes more pronounced as they bloom and when they’re dry.

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So…I had a go at adding canvas on the right and it looked pretty bad. Thoughts?

Technical Details

Handheld, but resting camera on the ground.
This is a 5-image stack


Lr for the basics - my goal was to keep this relatively soft, but let the colors and forms speak for themselves - smoothed the tonalities, added clarity, texture, sharpening & nr, but not a ton. Zerene for the stack (DMap) and some retouching. Photoshop for further retouching and distraction removal.

Wonderful image, Kris. I’m not an expert by any means about adding canvas, but the right side of your photo looks good to me, for what it’s worth. Nicely done.

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Thanks @linda_mellor - I am thinking about going over to where these are and seeing what else I can find. The light might work out for me.

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Hi Kris, yeah, I tried to add canvas with content aware and it wasn’t quite aware enough…Not sure what to do except add some canvas and then try manually cloning from other areas…

Still, the closeness to the edge doesn’t bother me. This is another nice intimate scene with great focus stacking. Another winner.

Kris: The proximity to the edge of the leaf doesn’t bother me at all since it’s not the main subject which is garnering most of the attention. Nicely done stack and kudos to you for the effort. >=))>

Thanks @David_Bostock & @Bill_Fach - glad you aren’t bothered by the tight crop. Once I got started moving the focus points, I had to keep it the same. They’re gone by now.

“I never noticed that before” - that sums up one of the main joys of macro for me. The way the shape of the flower complements that of the leaf makes this photo for me. The only change I’d suggest is toning down the brightness of the browns and greens in the bottom 25% or so (at least in the LRC). Super shot, Kris.

I think macro photographers say that a lot. Hm…I hadn’t thought about bringing down the brightness there, but it might improve things. Thanks!

A very nice comp, although I wish that more of the flower was included in the DOF. The upper leaf helps frame the flower. Well done…Jim

Thanks Jim, I wish I had a little more DOF as well, but it was pretty breezy and I was handholding down on the ground and waiting to hit the shutter between gusts. If I had more patience, maybe I could have gotten more. LOL. I have since taken delivery on a Platypod eXtreme which is going to make things easier for me when I have to get super low.

I meant to comment on this earlier but got interrupted. You have a gorgeous subject and did an amazing job of stacking under those circumstances! A little more DOF and a looser composition would have been nice, but the image stands up very well as is. The leaves are as interesting as the flower, which is saying a lot.

Good idea about the LR corner, and it might be interesting to bend the reddish-browns more toward green.