Erythronium americanum Ker Gawl. (yellow trout lily)

Common native throughout eastern North America.

The intent of this collection of images is to isolate an individual species and make a format portrait. The background is intentionally monotone to provide the viewer an image lacking the narrative of habitat or place. The style draws from the rich heritage of botanical illustration and herbarium specimens, and photographically from portraits by Richard Avedon, the luscious flora images of Robert Llewellyn, and the classic botanical art of Anne Ophelia Dowden.

Native and some ornamental plants are photographed in situ. Great care is taken to leave the area around the plant untouched, following the guidelines of Nature First . A few cultivated species are photographed in the studio.

Technical Details

Composite: No

The background is an Impact Hexi 24, portable, light-weight, fabric light-box housing a Nikon SB-500 Speedlight. Two small Nikon Wireless Remote SB-R200 Speedlights with diffusers provide frontal lighting. All flash are in manual mode; they are triggered and output intensity is adjusted with a Vello FreeWave IR Commander on the camera hot shoe. (Older Nikon models had a built-in Commander Mode so the Vello may not be necessary.) The background is pure white (255 for each RGB Channel) Photographs are processed in Adobe LRC, Bridge, and PS.

Nikon D-850, Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZE, f22

I think I like this one best. It does remind me of old-style botanical prints. I have a collection of reprints by Pierre-Joseph Redouté and they’re wonderful. I rotate them in a couple of frames and since there’s over 100 of them, it’s taking me a while to go through them all. Are the flowers in your area this green in color? The ones that blanket my yard are a much warmer yellow. I know they come in white as well, but they’re not in my yard. Great series. Keep them coming!

Thank you, Kristen. Botanical illustration from the 19th century is lovely. There was so much excitement about new plants from around the world coming to Europe and talented painters making exquisite renditions. I’m fortunate that one of the best botanical libraries globally, The Hunt Botanical Institute, is here in Pittsburgh, and they have regular exhibitions from their extensive collection.

Your collection must be beautiful. Rotating the prints is a great idea. It keeps your appreciation fresh, and I imagine that you discover novel nuances each time a favorite reappears.

The petals are yellower, but since much of the light is coming from behind the blooms, the transmitted light picks up the petals’ green reverse side.

The white plants are a different species Erythronium albidum Nutt. Here, in western Pennsylvania, those are rare.

Again, thank you. I’m glad you like the series, and most certainly, I will keep the coming.

Oh that must be a great thing to go to when they exhibit something. Great inspiration.

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I have no need for any of your services.

Superb presentation of this beautiful Erythronium species. I’m enjoying your other images too, and look forward to more!

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