Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota)

10 07 2010

Some of you may have noticed that my photographic style is very graphic and sometimes minimalist—clean lines, stark composition, judicious use of light, pops of color, selective depth of field, and employing varying degrees of bokeh. Well, capturing a “plant portrait” of Queen Anne’s Lace (which I have avoided until now, believe it or not), isn’t easy—and it’s a hard flower to fit into my more graphic style. It’s a very delicate flower with hundreds of little flowering brachts spread over a wide, curving surface—making it hard to control the depth of field across the entire flower. I hung in there yesterday and experimented with it—resulting in a shot that I rather like—and that still suits my photographic bent!

Queen Anne’s Lace is sometimes called Wild Carrot—in fact, the carrots we eat were once cultivated from this plant. Lacy, flat-topped clusters bloom from May through October. It is a biennial plant, meaning it lives for just two years. Although many people consider it an invasive weed, many insects benefit from this wildflower—caterpillars of the Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly (at right) eat the leaves, bees and other insects are drawn to the nectar, and other insects feed on the aphids that inhabit the flowers.

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


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11 07 2010
Alex Solla

Have you considered doing a multi-shot image where you focus into different parts of the frame (ala HDR) and then combining them? Might be helpful with something as tough to shoot as Queen Anne’s Lace. Just a thought.

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