Entering my brother’s garden, I already knew that I was too late in the season to photograph the Persian Jewel flowers he previously recorded, but I didn’t expect the inflated seed pods to be so bright and colorful, like the blossoms were.
Snaking through several raised multicolored plant beds full of hundreds of blossoms with my tripod held high, there they were, crowding out an old weathered wood trough about five feet long and seven inches wide. They looked like a mini hedge of little gem-colored aliens, with ferny feelers reaching out into the surrounding air.
Persian Jewels are also known as Wild Fennel and by the Botanical name of Nigella damaascena. The flowers themselves are a bright mixture of saturated shades of mauve, light blue and white, lavender, purple, rose. They are excellent annual flower garden plants belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).
But as they presented their balloon shaped seed pods to the camera this morning it was just as exciting as any floral display because it was so unexpected.
We photographed the Jewels at different time of the day portraying at least three unique interpretations. Early morning just after sunrise direct backlight added to the gem quality by catching highlights off the dew.
A white reflector was used to fill light into the shadows of the pods which then gave some emphasis to the veins and lines in the capsules’ skin.
Open shadow light presented a much softer scene and when combined with a shallow depth of field, it helped draw out a different character of the seed pods nested in fibrous greenery.
A bright afternoon and a parting of clouds brought the most intense color to the capsules. This cheerful image has been included in a 2011 calendar promoting Montana Photographers.
These photographs illustrate the reasoning behind the idea of studying your subject matter and how to utilize the elements of light to interpret what you record.
If you have any comments or thoughts about these images please let me know.
Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org