08.11.19: Daylily up close

A close-up of a Welchkins daylily, Hilliard, Ohio.


Technical information

July 2, 2005, 
4:11 p.m.

40°3'14.47" N 83°8'15.949" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 20D

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 


1/200th second


Julie, my wife, does a great job having our house surrounded by flowers during the spring and summer months (although in recent summers some of the backyard spots formerly occupied by flowers now have tomatoes, basil, parsley and peppers).

The variety of flowers provides a nice opportunity for me to work on my macro (or close-up) photography. I’ve photographed lilies, daisies, zinnias, geraniums, marigolds, impatiens, petunias, tulips, irises and daylilies without ever leaving the yard.

Most of my photos show full flowers or even multiple flowers. But this photo of a Welchkins daylily gets extremely close, showing the yellow pollen on the anthers at the end of the stamen, surrounded by colorful petals.

I had been photographing the numerous yellow daylilies around the house when the reddish-purple Welchkins daylilies nearby caught my attention. I liked how the red stamen and yellow pollen stood out against the yellow-green throat of the flower and decided to try to capture that scene.

But shooting macro flower shots outdoors has its challenges. With the camera that close to the flower, the slightest breeze pushes the subject out of position and out of focus. Plus natural light can be fickle, casting shadows where they aren't wanted. I often use flash units and reflectors to address that problem, but I didn't on this shoot.

After examining several flowers, I found one that was semi-backlit by the afternoon sun. The angle of the light helped separate the pollen-covered anthers from the surrounding petals. So I grabbed a few shots. 

It worked out well.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.