Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I love daffodils. They are my favorite spring bulb. Unlike most tulips, they take very little care and will return in glorious bloom year after year, like the miniatures shown in this photo. I have never been too happy with the photos I have taken of daffodils, however.

They are not easy to film. I mean, yeah, you can take pictures of them like this shot and the last, but despite their inherent beauty, the pictures don't move me - and they probably don't move you either.

So, how do you portray them in a meaningful way? As with many other subjects, there are some common ideas to keep in mind. Pay attention to the background. Some of the things in the first photo I wish weren't there, but I did want the fence and the white flowering tree in the background. In the second, I intentionally blurred the background because there was nothing visually interesting behind the bouquet. 

By getting down to the level of the flower in this photo, I was able to aim the lens back up toward the sky and include the complementary blue of the sky. This comes closer to capturing "the character of a daffodil" in my mind, but I'm still not pleased with it. The blurred tree trunks in the background are slightly distracting as you initially wonder what they are.

Part of what is missing in the first three photos is good framing. Composition - how you portray the subject within the confines of the frame - is not easy to relate. It has a lot to do with shapes and how well-balanced those shapes are within the frame. This image does not show the entire flower, but communicates much better what a daffodil is than the others which displayed many blooms.

Another way to portray something like a daffodil is to zoom in so close that it becomes abstracted. This takes a special lens, however. I was using a macro lens in filming this image. The trumpet is the only reason the image is recognizable as a daffodil. I like this one okay, but I think the last one captures the gist of a daffodil the best of the five photos.

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