How the Art Happens - The Three Amigas

April 13, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

The Three Amigas

The Three AmigasThe Three AmigasA trio of blooming Pasque flowers.

The Pasque Flower or Prairie Crocus is usually the first flower to bloom in spring around here. In other parts of the world, it blooms around Easter but that never happens up here. It blooms in both sunny and shady locations but the blossoms only open when the sun starts to hit them. They close each evening. Since they are the first spots of color in a brown or white landscape, they garner lots of attention and make us happy that spring will be a reality once more.

The Pasque Flower has become almost extinct in Europe and is a protected species in several countries. According to my Audubon Field Guide's description, it shouldn't bloom at this altitude. But it does. This causes me to wonder if it was brought here by our European settlers in the mining days of Crested Butte.

No matter how it got here, it's one of my favorite spring subjects. These colorful, little, hairy, flowers bring me a sense of calm and peace. I enjoy their open and closed presentation equally. My favorite ones to photograph are in pine forests. Their blooms offer a stark contrast in shape and color to the brown forest floor.

"The Three Amigas" took a little waiting to capture. When I arrived at my very favorite spot for Pasque Flowers the sun had not hit the forest floor and all the flowers were closed in protection from the chill of the previous night. I spent a little time hunting compositions with those flowers but I was really hoping for some sunshine. After a bit, the sun began to hit the forest floor and the blossoms began to slowly open. Compositions changed dramatically. I also had to be careful not to step on tomorrow's subjects. While there is no direct sunlight in this photograph, the sun had spent some time illuminating the three flowers in the foreground but became obscured by a passing cloud. This situation gave me bright but diffused daylight, my very favorite way to illuminate most wildflower subjects. I also like the bright insides of the petals which allow them to be the brightest part of the scene. Since our eyes are drawn to the brighter areas of a picture, it's a big win if the bright part of the scene is also the subject.

I hope you enjoy "The Three Amigas". I also hope to see some of these in 6-8 weeks as the snow slowly begins to melt in the Rocky Mountains.



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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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