click photo to enlarge
There is a school of gardening that favours subtle, muted colours that belong to the same palette - say light blues and purples - to which white is sometimes added. This can be very effective. It can also become monotonous. My preference is for subtlety occasionally disrupted by an explosion of colour. And, when it comes to floral pyrotechnics, few flowers offer more of a "bang" than the gaillardia.
We've grown this flower for quite a few years and I always look forward to its appearance in the border. The red, orange and yellow blooms could never be described as subtle and the colour combination is not one that has a particular appeal for me. On a recent tour of the garden with my camera and the macro lens I stopped in front of the gaillardias and tried to work out what it was that I liked about them. I came to the conclusion that it is the mixture of strong contrast and the way the yellow petal tips give the outline of each flower head strong definition.
I've photographed this flower before (see here, here and here for example) and this time I again looked for a different composition. I found it by keeping the camera to my eye and slowly moving around the blooms. This view with the out of focus foliage seemed to further accentuate the definition of the petals that I like.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Photo Title: Gaillardia Flower
Focal Length: 60mm macro (120mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On