The Crocuses of Evening Island

April 13, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The long Chicago winter has finally come to an end.  We were all beginning to wonder if spring would ever come after one of the coldest and longest winters in Chicago history.  But as it does every year, the temperature finally rose, the snow melted, the ground thawed and the beginning of spring was welcomed by all. Slowly but surely the snowdrops, the crocuses, dwarf irises and other flowers that herald the beginning of spring popped through the ground.  What a welcome sight for winter-weary eyes and especially for those of us who love being outside and photographing nature.  Spring, with it's renewal of life, is my favorite time of year to photograph. It has been wonderful to see the Chicago Botanic Garden come to life once again, the horticulturalists and staff busy sprucing up and planting each and every area of the Garden.  A part of the Garden that I love this time of year is Evening Island; the hillside is blanketed in white, yellow and purple crocuses. It is one of the few areas of the Garden where you can actually walk among the flowers rather than having to stay on the path, which makes it ideal for photographing these beautiful flowers up close.  There is ample space between groupings of crocuses to set up your tripod and gear or even lay on your belly in the grass and photograph hand-held, being careful not to sit or lay on any delicate flowers.  I usually like to photograph crocuses with my tripod to ensure getting the stamen of the flower in perfect focus.  I have a tripod (Gitzo GT2531EX) that allows me to get my camera right down level with the ground.  I most often shoot crocuses with a wide aperture which serves to blur the brown grass and produce a dreamier effect. I also enjoy shooting the inner parts of the flower at high apertures to achieve sharp focus throughout the flower and accentuate the beautiful patterns of the flower petals.  My favorite of the crocuses are the 'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus, which have beautiful patterning on the petals. The complimentary colors of the bright orange stamens and the purple/blue petals are pleasing to the eye.  Here are a number of the many images I have shot over the past week. I said to myself several times that, even if I didn't get one good photo, I sure enjoyed sitting in the sunshine among these beautiful flowers! Thank goodness for spring! 

'Remebrance' Dutch Crocus nestled among Yellow Mammoth Crocus...

'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus 'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus A peek inside...

'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus A few more crocus portraits...

'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus 'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus 'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus'Remembrance' Dutch Crocus     


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