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Tag Archives: Clematis

This is our second day of needed rainfall and as the ground squished under my shoes, I made my way around the garden performing the usual morning tasks of filling the feeders and checking on all the plants.  

No watering can required. 🙂  

A green lacewing fluttered by me, struggling to fly in the gusting winds, landing ultimately on the wooden trellis at the grey shed. With their delicate transparent wings, a bright spring-green torso, reddish face and large eyes, lacewings are not only quite the interesting-looking insect but also a welcome friend in my garden since their larvae devour a variety of pests! As I’ve yet to photograph one, I went back inside to grab my camera but, unfortunately, by the time I returned, the lacewing had fled the scene. Shoot! 

Well, now that I had my camera, I traipsed around the sodden landscape seeking out another worthy subject. Hmmmm, what will it be?

"Belle" (Clematis viticella 'Betty Corning') Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/5.6, 1/160s, -1.7EV, ISO 1000, Silver Efex Pro Filter w/Selective Toning

A solitary Clematis viticella blossom drenched with raindrops was just begging to be noticed! I love the violet color, bell shape and those delicate, frilly edges. Surprisingly, not much was done in post except for some selective color removal along with dodging to highlight the bloom’s texture and edge details.  

So, as much as I would have liked a go at the lacewing, I’m inclined to think this was the shot that was meant to be. 🙂  

Either I’m starting to lose my mind or it’s the recent postings of white swans on FS Photography (here and here) that has me seeing swans in my flowers!! 🙂 

"Swan Song" (Clematis 'Lanuginosa Candida') Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/6.3, 1/800s, ISO 200

In addition to peonies, I also love clematis and have several varieties in the garden (10 at last count). I managed to drag myself away from the baby red squirrels for a bit to take notice of ‘Dr. Ruppel’, one of my oldest and, quite possibly my favorite for its large striped pink blossoms. It never disappoints!  

"Pinwheel" (Clematis, 'Dr. Ruppel') Nikon D300, 70mm, F/8, 1/00, -0.7EV, ISO 200

These days, everything is blooming about one to two weeks ahead of schedule due to our ‘higher-than-normal’ temperatures (it hit 95 degrees today!). Doesn’t bother me – just means I need to keep pace! 😀 

As for the Dr., I was happy to catch this particular blossom unfurling in late afternoon light.

I generally like to take photographs using available light (admittedly I am somewhat lazy and this is the easiest thing to do). 

However sometimes, there are advantages to eliminating the available light completely from the scene, then highlighting certain points with the use of an external flash. 

Intrigued? I will explain. 

This fluffy seed pod of Clematis ‘Dr. Ruppel’ covered in a light dusting of snow caught my attention but appeared very blah when shot at normal exposure (light-colored pod against overcast sky = uninteresting results). 

“Old Man Winter” (Seed Pod of Clematis ‘Dr. Ruppel’ in Winter) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/13, 1/80s, -2.0EV, ISO 100, SB900 with Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, +2.0EV

But, when I purposefully underexposed the image, creating a very dark background (almost looks light nighttime, eh?) and then added in a fairly strong pop of flash, Voila!  

One pretty nice photo! 🙂

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