Echium vulgare (viper's bugloss)

Uploading: Bot058 - Echium vulgare - Edited DNG -2014-Enhanced-103.jpg…


Sometimes my use of in situ is a rich bottomland on a warming spring day spread with a cacophony of wildflowers in bloom. In this case, it’s a roadside with trucks rumbling by and four-wheelers slowing to see what the heck I’m doing.

Echium vulgare is native to Europe and western Asia. It is now naturalized in North and South America and common. Common enough to be called a weed. It can reach a metre tall in good conditions - ie roadsides, disturbed land, vacant lots, and other sorted places.

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General presentation.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

DSLR, handheld, ISO 250, 1/250, 100mm macro, f22, flash box behind, fill flash from both sides.

Is this a composite?


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Hi Paul,

Looks good and my only suggestion would be to vary the strength of one of the flashes to get some subtle shading to provide more depth to the image. But you do have artistic license and if this is what you prefer, then I don’t have an issue. Your compositions are wonderful and this is another example of an excellent portrayal of this plant…Jim

Thank you Jim, I appreciate you looking and providing comments.

I do think of the output of the flash units. However, in the field that big flash in the sky seems to over power my efforts. I could be using a screen to shade the object, but that’s one more piece of gear, and I’m allergic to extra stuff.

Also, this body of work is intended to be flat as a homage to museum herbarium sheets and 19th century botanical illustrations, thus flat.

Finally, my controller can only handle two banks of flash. One sets the background and the second the side lights, or single light. When I am using two side lights, one is more distant than the other and the inverse square is an attempt to do the trick.

But enough excuses.

Again, thanks for the input.


Oh, by the way, what’s with all the southern birds turning up in Michigan? Are they hanging around for the football season?

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Beautiful image, Paul! Ha! That sounds like me getting honked at on the side of the road! One time someone actually stopped to see if I was ok, as I was practically laying down in the ditch! It’s too bad, all the beautiful flowers and insects and grasses that get passed by and missed by so many people every day. Great capture!

Yesterday I walked my usual three miles to the bridge & back and marveled at all of our weeds, too. There are some invasives in there (Tansy, I’m looking at you), but also some natives and all in the ditch. Kudos for braving the traffic to bring us this one.

Thanks @Kris_Smith @Jim_Zablotny .

@Vanessa_Hill I’ve also had people and stop and ask if I’m OK. Same thing happens when I walk along talking to myself. Fortunately my wife pulls my elbow and keeps me out of awkward situations.

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