Moonflowers at last

A moonflower blossom, fragile and beautiful, still open in the early morning light. (Copyright 2012 / Andrew Boyd)

A moonflower blossom, fragile and beautiful, still open in the early morning light. (Copyright 2012 / Andrew Boyd)

Keeping vigil with our moonflower vine finally paid off with some images. The flowers only last one night—and hopefully into the early morning hours, when I can photograph—and they’re incredibly fragile. Too much wind, some rain, maybe a preceeding day that’s too hot can all ruin the blossom. Many never open up completely at all, seeming to get stuck in partial bloom, then withering away. Which makes these photographs all the more precious.

Crinkled moonflower. This blossom never opened further, stymied by some combination of wind, rain or daylight. (Copyright 2012 / Andrew Boyd)

Crinkled moonflower. This blossom never opened further, stymied by some combination of wind, rain or daylight. (Copyright 2012 / Andrew Boyd)

The thing I find my eye tends to want is stamens in focus. The rest of the flower can go to a soft focus and it’s not an issue as long as the stamens look sharp, in effect giving one’s eye a point to grasp onto.

The same blossom, cropped differently. Getting in close can yield a lot of interesting compositional possibilities. (Copyright 2012 / Andrew Boyd)

The same blossom, cropped differently. Getting in close can yield a lot of interesting compositional possibilities. (Copyright 2012 / Andrew Boyd)

Getting up very close is also where I tend to find the magic in these beautiful creations. All of the beauty and vitality in the world can end up represented in a single one of these guys.

Another blossom still open in the morning light. (Copyright 2012 / Andrew Boyd)

Another blossom still open in the morning light. (Copyright 2012 / Andrew Boyd)

I’ve gone ahead and applied my favorite black and white split-toning to these, although they would have been just as beautiful in color. For anyone keeping score, these were all shot with the Canon 50mm macro lens, 1/50sec @ f4, ISO 400.

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Or subscribe to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Gallery

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

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