How the Art Happens - Lilly and Beauty

April 19, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Lilly and Beauty

Lilly and BeautyLilly and Beauty-AA Glacier Lilly blooms above a Spring Beauty during springtime in Colorado.

One of the first signs of "Spring" here in the high country is the appearance of Glacier Lilies and Spring Beauties. These are among the very first flowers to appear and frequently bloom at the very edges of receding fields of snow. The fact they bloom in wet and muddy terrain makes photographing them challenging. The fact that the yellow Glacier Lilly is only a few inches tall and the Spring Beauty about an inch tall just adds to the fun.

Finding these two flowers together is not unusual but getting them into the same plane of focus for a close-up was difficult. When taking photos this close there is very limited depth of field even with a smaller aperture. Wriggling around on my stomach in the mud made me wonder just how badly I wanted to capture this scene. I am not a "wet belly" photographer very often! I do love a perfect Glacier Lilly, however, so I continued to refine the composition until I found an arrangement that worked for me. The Spring Beauty seemingly reaching for the sun while the Lilly seems to shy away just adds to the natural mystery of the scene.

While I have taught courses and led tours for wildflower photography for well over a decade, I rarely show or sell wildflower photographs. It's an interesting challenge to find compositions that other photographers avoid but they are really not my passion. I prefer grander landscapes to close-ups. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy this splash of color while I watch the 10' of snow in my yard start to melt.


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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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