The lotuses are blooming

June 10, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Summer is almost here and the lotuses and water lilies are starting to bloom at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens.

Close-up photo of a pink lotus in bloom by John Baggaley.Lotus Close-up

I visited Kenilworth last weekend. We're clearly early in the blooming season, as many of the flowers haven't bloomed yet. However, there are a few patches where you can find some really great color.

Photo of a pink lotus in bloom against a backdrop of green by John Baggaley.Pink by Green

When shooting flowers, I like to get green backgrounds. The enormous leaves of the lotus work beautifully. The pink color pops nicely against the dark green.

Photo of pink lotus flower by John Baggaley.Translucent Pink

I think it's usually best to take photos of flowers outdoors when it's cloudy. Bright sunlight can look really harsh, washing out the color and delicate details in flowers. Last weekend, it was very sunny, so I tried a few things to compensate. First, I went early in the morning when the sunlight wasn't as harsh. The angle of the light was also very low and I was able to use the sun as backlighting, making the flowers glow. In the photo above, the petals of the lotus appear translucent. I think it's a fun effect.

Frequently, when I'm shooting around water, I like to use a circular polarizer to eliminate glare, which I usually find unattractive. However, when you eliminate glare, you also get rid of reflections, and sometimes reflections can add a beautiful element to a photo.

Winter-hardy water lilies in bloom. Reflections in the water make for a painterly photo.The Water Garden

The water in the lily ponds at Kenilworth are very muddy and muddy blacks and browns can create an unwelcome contrast with the lilies. In this photo, I turned my polarizer so that it would keep the reflections in the water. In doing so, I captured a reflection of the blue sky and the green reeds to fill in the space between the lily pads. I think the effect is quite nice. To me this photo looks like it could be the subject of a Monet painting. I like it quite a bit.

 

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