Prairie Potpourri

When photographing prairie wildflowers, I generally tend to isolate a single plant or even a single flower to photograph. Photographing in this manner, I like to get closeups of the flower, particularly showing the details of the subject … the color, the texture, the various flowering parts (pistils, stamens, etc.). And photographing these closeups with my 180mm macro lens, to get in tight and to have a very minimal depth of field. Shooting in this manner, I try to get the background to go to a very soft texture, termed “bokeh” by modern photographic circles. By shooting in this manner, you can create some really nice, creative and artistic images. But I also like photographing a field, or even just a large patch, of wildflowers. Shooting in this manner can also be artistic, especially if one captures the image with a rather small depth of field, and again achieving a “bokeh” look.

During my last prairie visit, I shot my normal closeup, macro images. But the prairie was beginning to show a really dense wildflower coverage in some spots, so I took the time to also shoot the scenes a lot “looser”. And today’s photo blog features some of my favorite non-closeup images. In this first image, there are several species of wildflowers displaying, particularly the Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) and a small patch of Deptford Pinks (Dianthus armeria) (Note: I featured the Deptford Pinks in a recent blog post, can you spot them?) :

Backlit Pale Purple Coneflowers


Since the sun was in front of me, I decided to do a little “backlight” photography, shooting into the sun. This technique, when it works, can give incredible results, showing off all kinds of textures and details. For example, in this image, you can see the “hairs” of the Pale Purple Coneflower plants literally “light up” (Note: again, note the Deptford Pinks growing around the coneflower):

Pale Purple Coneflowers


In this next image, I found a nice stand of Fleabane (Erigeron spp.):

Fleabane wildflowers on a Missouri prairie


And then I came upon these yellow wildflowers (not yet identified … any assistance is appreciated!) with some Fleabane growing in the background (the pale white spots):

Wildflower Potpourri


All in all, another great morning on the prairie! I’m planning on visiting another local prairie real soon … one where dragonflies tend to congregate and perch among the prairie wildflowers and prairie grasses. Hopefully, I’ll have a post on them soon!



Posted in Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography Tips, Wildflowers.
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