Wading In A Sea Of Pink, White, And Green.
This post is also serving double duty as my entry this week in the Weekly Photo Challenge. This weeks theme is “Inside.” The image below shows the outside of a soon to bloom fragrant water-lily. The image following that one shows the “Inside.” See, pretty sneaky huh?.
To Get Close…
To get close to one of my favorite floral photo subjects almost always requires getting wet. It might be only ankle-deep, but to get to that “perfect” flower, I’ve been known to go over my waist in the wet stuff. “Why not use a canoe or a kayak?” you might ask. One word, waves. In a kayak, no matter how still you think you’re sitting the boat will move creating camera movement along with ripples on the water, ripples that in turn cause subject movement. Add the two together and it gets pretty tough to get a sharp photograph.
…You Need To Get Wet.
So in the water, tripod in hand, I go. Once I’m set up and the image composed in the viewfinder, I simply stand still, it takes but a few seconds for the water to settle down enough to get your shot. The lily pads also help as a natural buffer to the water’s movement.
If you’re a little leery of the muck and any creepy crawlies lurking in the water you can wear waders, but I prefer to wade wet. Usually a pair of shorts and my Vibram Five Fingers is all my water-lily shooting wardrobe consists of.
Special Note: While looking through the viewfinder at the bright yellow stamen, you can actually see them unfolding as the flower opens. Pretty cool.
Surprisingly, one of the hardest things I have to deal with when photographing these beauties isn’t getting to them at all. What makes getting good images of them is the light. These flowers are particularly sun-loving and don’t open up until the sun is well above the horizon and the light is starting to get harsh. A nice overcast day is your friend, but when the sun hits the flower just right they almost seem to glow from within. Wind is another enemy of making a good photograph, as it acts on the flower itself, as well as on the water, which in turn acts on the flower. If there is more than the occasional slight breeze, I go home to return another time.
One last piece of advice for anyone who wants to get wet for their water lilies. Make sure you empty your pockets of any and all valuables that don’t play well with water. Your wallet and cell phone will thank you.
Lastly, be careful, you never know who might be watching your every move.