Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are one of Faith’s favorite flowers. Each Fall she fills the house with yellow, red and purple chrysanthemums that remind her of when she lived in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As the cooler weather would set in, the chrysanthemums would start to bloom and become available in the local nurseries. Although our cooler weather doesn’t begin as soon as it does up North, Faith still likes to bring a touch of Fall to our home.

Last October I stopped by the neighborhood Publix for a few grocery items and I saw a beautiful display of chrysanthemums for sale. I’m not usually looking for flowers to add to the house, but this particular grouping really caught my eye. I looked the display over and decided that these were too beautiful to pass up. Faith was in Italy at the time, so I thought these chrysanthemums would be a nice surprise for her when she got home.

But I have to admit I also had ulterior motives. Click the images to view larger.

Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums

See, flower photography is not my specialty. Most of the flower images I take end up in the deleted images folder on the computer. While the flowers may be beautiful, I just haven’t figured out how to capture that beauty in a way that pleases me. Maybe I’m too picky, but I don’t like plain flower images. I’m looking for something unique and different that says “Wow!” The flowers say “Wow!”, but my images say “Eh!”

But I really, REALLY liked the colors and patterns in this particular chrysanthemum. The plant was full of blooms and I had my choice of so many angles to choose from.

Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums

So I thought I would give these chrysanthemums a chance to shine in a way I haven’t been successful at in the past. I had recently purchased a Canon 5D III camera body which has the ability to take multiple images and merge them together, so I thought I might try some of these features and see what I can come up with.

I setup a studio on our back porch where I had plenty of sunlight, but all of it was indirect light. Bright sunlight on the blooms would not have worked very well. I took a variety of shots at different focal distances, apertures and even had a little post processing fun.

Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums

Next I tried the in-camera multiple exposure feature to see what I could do with that.

Multiple Exposure Chrysanthemum Blur
Multiple Exposure Chrysanthemum Blur

Finally, I took a multiple exposure image and tried some different settings in Nik Software’s Color EFex Pro.

Multiple Exposure Chrysanthemum Blur
Multiple Exposure Chrysanthemum Blur

I’m not going to hang up my wildlife photography and focus on flowers anytime soon, but I did have fun experimenting with different options and images. I’ll do more in time and eventually I may figure out what I like and how to capture a decent image. We have plenty of sunrises, sunsets and bird photos hanging all over our home. One day I hope to capture an image of a flower that makes me say “Wow!” and makes Faith say “print it, frame it, hang it!”.