Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Primula supernova

click photo to enlarge
I've never been a big fan of primulas. They always seemed too showy, artificial even, forcing themselves on you with their bright hues and improbable colour combinations. They suffered too, in my eyes, from their connection with the primrose, a beautiful, delicately coloured, unassuming flower, a harbinger of spring, against which the primula looked like the brassy, unsubtle cousin. But, just as my taste in colours is changing as I get older, so too is my appreciation of flowers. Where once I wouldn't have seen any virtues in the primula I can now appreciate how they add a glow to a dark corner, or brightness to a window box or planter (though I still don't think they touch the spots that the primrose does.)

Today, after the early morning frost had melted I went into the garden to see if I could get some shots of the daffodils and narcissi that have opened in the past week. I did, but none of them were any better than I've captured before, or offered anything that you haven't seen before. So, I continued my rounds and came upon some burgundy-coloured primulas under a willow tree. Now, considering that I don't particularly like burgundy coloured flowers in general, feeling that they don't supply enough contrast with the soil, and taking into account my feelings towards primulas, it's surprising that I stopped to photograph them. But stop I did, and am quite pleased with the outcome. The beads of water left by the frost help the image, as does the reflected sky in each one. However, what makes the image for me is the colour combination and the overall darkness of the shot - the centre of the flower-head is like a supernova against the duskiness of star-flecked space.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/125 seconds
ISO: 400
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On