My holy grail for the late summer is the Fringed Gentian (Gentianopsis crinita). If I find one you will see why. Or maybe you already have seen them and know why. However, the calendar says it is still a bit early but the Meadow Bottle Gentian (Gentiana clausa) aka Closed Gentian is in full bloom and I did happen upon some this past Sunday at Chesterfield Gorge (also a Trustees of Reservations property) in Chesterfield, MA. I state MA because there is a Chesterfield Gorge in NH too. As my MO describes my images as mostly from within 50 miles of home I thought I would mention this.
These flowers are fully open. To pollinate the flowers, very fit and burly little insects must force their way through the closed petals to do the deed. I may not be an arachnophobe, but I am a claustrophobe and this would not be my chosen profession were I an insect. :-)
Quite often I close in for an intimate portrait of flowers, insects etc. and I did that here. But I thought I would show two shots with one being from enough of a distance to show the majority of the plant. Hence the title…more about that at the finish.
This one contains a torn leaf and busy background. I was able to soften the contrast in the background with some targeted adjustments (mentioned for David) which helps the flower itself to step a little forward while still allowing for good detail in the bloom at f/5.6 @1/4 sec. I should also mention that the leaves were very wet from the overnight dew and I dried them off with a handkerchief to kill the strong reflective glare in addition to using a circular polarizer.As is my habit, I try to eliminate as much distraction as possible in a portrait, or any other image for that matter, so I moved in closer.You will notice the change in color tone coming from the sun starting to shine through the trees. This is a bit tidier and puts all the emphasis on the 7 little bottles. I wanted the flower to be the only element, so I stayed at f/5.6 but did a series of fourteen 1/8 sec. exposures starting with the focus at the front tip of the closest leaf and proceeding to the rear leaf tip. I don’t often stack images, but gave it a shot and I think it worked out ok. I tried both Helicon Focus and Photoshop’s stacking functionality and preferred the job Photoshop did.
Which do you prefer?
As for the title….