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Some photographs come easy; most take more than one attempt. This was the case with this gorgeous, fully-double peony! 

“Some Like it Hot” (Herbaceous Chinese Peony, Paeonia ‘Karl Rosenfeld’) Nikon D300, VR 200-400mm, 210mm, F/9, 1/125s, -1.0EV, ISO 640

On the first day, the sun was too strong. I used a diffuser to soften the light, but then I lost the luminous glow of the petals. Adding fill flash blended the tones too much and the petals were no longer distinct from each other. I was pleased with the overall composition (the background blue-purple color is from a large planter approximately 15 feet away containing annual lobelia) but perplexed as to why I wasn’t achieving the look I wanted. Sigh. Okay. This is going to be one of those images. We’ll try again tomorrow.

The second day was overcast so I ran into similar issues as I had with using the diffuser and the flash. Both days’ photo attempts occured in late afternoon with light coming in from the left at a 45 degree angle. Hmmmm, seems I needed a new plan. 😉

Day three arrived with lovely, soft, cloud-diffused morning light coming in high from the right. The crimson petals were illuminated beautifully (Check!). The petals were distinct (Check!). The crimson color really popped and the deep background color provided nice contrast and interest (Check! Check!).

Three time’s a charm!


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