Thursday, May 28, 2009

Milkweed and Buttercup

It's sometimes difficult for me to isolate the subject from the background. I've found that the addition of black may help, but it can be a bit tricky because color seems to saturate as it darkens. I mean, that's cool with me and I do like the look, but it does lose some realism. And yet, I argue, that what is left is the essence of the species.

The dairy motif didn't immediately become apparent. Or the fact that these species were well known to me as a child. Could it have been subconscious? Enough pondering; it's on with the ID's!

Here's a Meadow Buttercup, Ranunculus acris. We've all as children done the butter test, right?

And here's a young Milkweed of the genus Asclepias. I won't try for the species at this time--there are something like over 140... Hey, you've broken leaves and stems to watch the milk run out, haven't you?

What I didn't know as a kid is that the milk is poisonous and that monarch butterflies leverage that to protect themselves.


  1. Funny-I was photographing buttercups today too! Sometimes when I really need to isolate a plant in a photo (more for my botanical painting reference than artistic photography) I bring an 8x10 neutral photo grey card into the field with me and hold/balance it behind my subject to negate a fussy background-works like a charm!

  2. Great natural minds think alike! Val also notices overlap in photos.

    Thanks for the gray card tip. Now I'm checking out cards. Besides background, it'd help with exposure and white balance too. I'd been meaning to get one a while back and then, whoosh, it just slipped out of my mind.