Photograph the early blooming bulbs. There should be some easy compositions I said to myself. Not really. Between moving drip irrigation lines and not finding a good point of view to see the face of the flowers, it was time to find something else to photograph. By the way, this reminds me of how difficult it is to capture really good Calla Lily shots without cutting the flower and taking it into a controlled setting.
Of course the advantage of having a variety of plants in the garden is that there are options if idea #1 fails. The next option is of close-ups on the Aeonium succulents nearby. With the spread of these leaves at 7-8″, isolating the plant into a composition is much easier than clusters of 2″ flowers.
Processing Notes: The actual color of the Aeonium is light to medium green with red/purple edges. My personal trend right now is to stay away from photographs with an overload of green if there a few or no other colors within the image. This image certainly would qualify as green overload. To achieve this monochrome-like final photograph, a split-tone of light violet was applied to the highlights (primarily green portions) while a chalky faded red was the shadows. The split-toning was done entirely in Lightroom rather than Silver EFex Pro. There was not a reason why I choose Lightroom here except that I was playing with the toning in Lightroom to start and liked the image achieved there.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, spot metering mode, ISO100, 35mm (prime lens), f/14, 2 sec
Cameron Park (CA), Aeonium, Center Detail, Split Tone. Cameron Park, CA. February 23, 2017. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.