West Virginia South April - May 2019 - Page 33

Field Thistle Alfalfa Wildflowers with Friends Wildflowers often have a bee or butterfly decorating their petals. I have heard photographs of such called “Wildflow- ers with Friends.” Insects and wildflowers naturally comple- ment each other so that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts. The image of the monarch butterfly and field thistle in would not work as well if either the butterfly or wildflower was absent. The same is true for the photo- graph of a butterfly on a tiger lily. Take Wildflower Portraits I am not a portrait photographer. Yet, to take a pleasing Tiger Lily wildflower image, one can borrow from the art of portrait photography. Just as portrait photographers aspire to create images that capture whatever is unique or appealing about their subjects, I undertake the same challenge with wild- flowers—to highlight the best, most interesting, or most unique feature of the blossom. Let’s look at the common field plant, alfalfa. But, by put- ting the blossom in a compositional “sweet spot,” providing a soft background to highlight the flower, and by choosing a bloom with extraordinary pastel colors, I expressed the grace of this fine little flower (and my affection for it) by the way I photographed it. APRIL-MAY '19 ❖ SOUTH ❖ 33