In the summer I always look forward to the start of the blooming season for the waterlilies and lotuses in late June and early July. The displays have been particularly beautiful in the Heritage Garden. There are also waterlilies and lotuses in the Aquatic Garden by the Bulb Garden but those displays have not done well this year and many of the blooms have already been pulled out. The Heritage Garden has had many different types of water lilies and lotuses in a variety of colors, all healthy and beautiful. The waterlilies typically open mid-morning and stay open until late afternoon. It is important to shoot waterlilies in more subdued light, which is more difficult to get mid-day. I try to wait for days with good cloud cover. I use my 70-200mm lens to get in as close to the flowers as possible and try to shoot the flowers from many different angles. With the right light, proper exposure and a good angle you can darken the water, eliminating distracting details and leading the eye right to the main subject, creating a portrait with more impact and emotion. When shooting I am constantly checking for highlights and blown out areas and use exposure compensation to adjust my exposure as needed. Including the beautiful patterned lily pads and reflections in the water make for a more interesting portrait.