"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Yellow Iris Variations

Yellow Iris Variations

From “Flower-de-luce” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in The RHS Book of Flower Poetry and Prose by the Royal Horticultural Society:

Thou art the iris, fair among the fairest,
Who, armed with golden rod,
And wingéd with the celestial azure, bearest
The message of some god.

O! flower-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river
Linger to kiss thy feet!
O! flower of song, bloom on, and make for ever
The world more fair and sweet.

My first spring iris sighting for 2022 occurred in mid-April, where I stumpled upon these two large yellow beauties growing all by themselves in front of a thicket of boxwood hedges, set up from ground level behind one of the many stone walls at Oakland Cemetery’s Gardens.

I couldn’t get too close without climbing over the wall (not an activity appreciated by the caretakers, for sure) so I took these with a zoom lens stretched out to 300mm. Even at that zoom level, the lens captured a lot of detail: the first two in each trio are the original photos, and the third is a very close-in crop of the second image that I created in Lightroom. Despite the big zooms (both the lens and the crop), I’m pretty satisfied with the texture and color that made it into the final images.

The first two galleries below are followed by the same images on black backgrounds (shades of yellow and orange do so well on black); and, finally, the same images converted to black and white with the same level of silver tone added to each one, which seems to reveal the translucence of the flower petals even better than the color images.

Thanks for taking a look!


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