THE ORANGENESS OF BEGONIAS

It has been a relentlessly rainy summer. Which was fine, since we’ve been in drought or near-drought for many years. The rivers are full and presumably, so is our well. A lot of days have been gray and many of them have been rainy. Not drizzly summer rain, but drenching rain that turned our yard into mud and made the dogs reluctant to go out. They don’t mind weather, generally, but heavy rain? No thanks. But being dogs, outside is part of their life and out they go.

There are more mosquitoes than I’ve ever seen — and that includes multiple professional spraying to make them go away. I can’t even imagine how bad it would be had we not done that.

And everything has been growing faster than I’ve ever seen plants grow in this region. Nothing bloomed in May. Nothing bloomed for the first half of June. Then, mid-June, the floral world exploded, including the two bedraggled orange begonia I bought a month and a half ago.

It turns out, photographing brilliant orange flowers is a lot harder than I expected. I took a bunch of them a few days ago. No matter what I did with them, I didn’t like them. Too bright, lacking details. Always seemed burned out.

Today, I looked outside and I saw that it was cloudy … and being mid afternoon, the sun had already moved around to the front of the house. A new opportunity to see if a grayer sky would make better pictures. The answer is yes. I’m still not entirely happy with them, but several lenses later, these are noticeably better than the earlier ones.

My two bedraggled begonias have done well.

Flower of the day – Begonia

17 thoughts on “THE ORANGENESS OF BEGONIAS

  1. slmret August 2, 2017 / 12:14 am

    Those are gorgeous begonias!

    Like

  2. angloswiss August 2, 2017 / 12:30 am

    They are mega begonias, looking good. I also find that sun is not always good for photographing bright colors, but better a dull day, especially for blue

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 2, 2017 / 2:26 am

      I also used a slower lens, too. I think next time, I’m going to try my macro lens — more accurately, the OTHER macro lens. If it’s cloudy tomorrow, I’m going to try again. But they really are difficult. I don’t think I’ve ever see a brighter flower than these. They glow.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. evelyneholingue August 2, 2017 / 6:51 am

    I’m more familiar with the smaller potted begonias. Yours are amazing. And grey skies or not, rain or not, lenses or not, you captured their orangeness to the perfection.

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 2, 2017 / 7:45 am

      Thank you. You have no idea how good that makes me feel. I’ve taken HUNDREDS of pictures of them and this is the first bunch that I didn’t feel inclined to delete collectively!

      Like

  4. Chairomai August 2, 2017 / 10:53 am

    Such beautiful flowers and fantastic photos! I especially love the first one! It’s not easy to get the flowers so crisp and vivid and the background so perfectly blurred – do you have any tips on how to achieve flower photography like this?

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 2, 2017 / 11:30 am

      The answer would be, I think, wait for an overcast day … and use a macro lens. The overcast day is really important!

      Like

      • Chairomai August 2, 2017 / 12:01 pm

        I would never have thought of waiting for an overcast day – thanks!

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        • Marilyn Armstrong August 2, 2017 / 1:39 pm

          I had to learn. I took so many pictures in sunlight — and they were all glowing bright orange with NO detail or texture. I ran out of other options, so I went for shade. THAT worked. Note to self: bright flowers shoot better in shade!

          Like

          • Chairomai August 2, 2017 / 1:47 pm

            I know that frustration of taking loads of pictures of something and NONE of them coming out quite right lol! Must have been worth it, though, because your pictures above are perfect πŸ™‚ Will def remember your tip to photograph bright flowers in shade!

            Like

  5. swo8 August 2, 2017 / 11:56 am

    What a lovely orange colour!
    Leslie

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 2, 2017 / 1:28 pm

      Thanks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any other flower quite this vividly orange. Even orange day lilies have black and other colors to balance it. These are deranged orange πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lwbut August 3, 2017 / 1:19 am

    Nice shots, Spike! πŸ˜‰

    I have similar problems but with my poppies – super bright reds (or whites, or yellows) seem to overload my camera’s cmos. Shooting in cloudy conditions or close to sunrise/set helps but i recently found the best thing was switching my camera from it’s ‘Auto’ mode to the ‘Program’ mode ( i don’t remember if i have entered any different settings in the program mode, i just think i used the default) but this gave me much clearer shots of the same flower in identical conditions.

    My camera has more settings and combinations than i have time to learn about (like you my remaining lifetime may be too short to learn all i want to learn/do yet. πŸ˜‰ ) but i serendipitously found this when viewing my camera led screen while changing the program mode and found a much better image in P than A in bright sunlight conditions.

    #’s 1 and 3 are my personal favourites here. πŸ™‚

    love

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 3, 2017 / 1:46 am

      I always shoot in program or manual mode anyway. The brightness of reds and oranges is an actual problem to photographers. You need the right light, the right lens — and clouds definitely help. Bright sun is lethal to shooting bright colors. But these particular orange begonias seem to glow. I’ve never had any flower be that bright before. I didn’t know flowers came in that color.

      Like

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