My winter flower

30 12 2010

We have flowers in our house whole year, for example orchids, but there are some flowers which appear there only during some seasons – primulas and hyacinths in the early spring, followed by tulips and daffodils as spring proceeds, then roses, lilies, gladiolas during summer and chrysanthemums when rainy autumn days come. With winter we always buy a christmas cactus, poinsettia and cyclamen. The last named is my winter favourite. With many blossoms, beautiful immaculate petals and unexpected swirls they are constantly drawing my attention. Unfortunately, they never last long. It does not matter if we have them in a bedroom, living room or cold washroom the cyclamen flower never lasts more than couple weeks in our house.

This winter I had dreamed about a specific cyclamen photo for more than a month and so when I saw nice flowers in a shop I bought two of them, both beautifully blooming. Unfortunately, I got sick just the day after I bought them and they slowly started to fade, as usually. After a week I felt a bit better, well enough to keep a camera in my hands ;), and fortunately one of those 2 flowers still had some nice blossoms so I took my chance and you can see the result below. With petals more twisted it would be exactly the photo I had dreamed about.

~ 2 sec @ 100 mm, f/10, ISO 100 ~

I decided for more shallow DOF (only 10) because I like how the farther petals “dissolve” into the background. When I had this “dreamed” photo I tried to exchange the background for a black one and result is also interesting.

~ 6 sec. @ 100 mm, f/20, ISO 100 ~

It’s interesting to see how much different these 2 images seem to be even though the real differences are very small. I think this is very nice exercise for training viewer’s perception. Let me know which version do you prefer and why.

You can also see my cyclamen photos from previous winter here.

I hope you all had wonderful Christmas and I wish you Happy New Year 2011!

Technical information: all photos in this post were taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens mounted on a tripod, under natural conditions.




10 responses

31 12 2010

I tend to like the white background because I think it suits this type of flower better. It gives the image a much more light and airy feel to it versus the contrast of the black.

I think you are about 6 hours closer to 2011 than I am – so Happy New Year to you Tomas.

31 12 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thank you, Mark. I also like the one with white background more.

2 01 2011
Anita Bower

Delighted to see some photos from you. I prefer the white BG. I agree with Mark. Tomas, you have a great eye for composition!!!!
Curious about not being able to grow Cyclamen. Do not overwater, water when soil is dry, cool temperatures (our house goes from 50 fahrenheit at night to 65 during the day, partial sun (mine get some morning or some afternoon sun, not a lot. (I suppose you weren’t looking for gardening info.)

3 01 2011
Tomas Turecek

Thank you, Anita. To growing Cyclamen: 50 F at night, yay! I would freeze there 🙂 We have around 65F at night and 70 F during day. Actually, my wife takes care about flowers in our house and she already gave it up with Cyclamen. I think we tried changing watering, place (sunny, shaded, colder, warmer) and nothing worked. On the other hand my wife’s grandma, who lives in the house with us, has beautiful Cyclamen in a kitchen! I have already gave up even thinking about it. We can grow some flowers (for example orchids) and we can’t grow others like Cyclamen.

4 01 2011
Anita Bower


I’m going to copy the composition of this photo using one of my Cyclamen. Do you mind?

Re. growing flowers–I wish I could grow Orchids, but my house is too cold. We each grow what works for us. 🙂

4 01 2011
Tomas Turecek

Anita: feel free to copy the composition. You made me wondering if it is even possible to have copyright on something like a composition and I got to a resolution that probably not 🙂

4 01 2011

Cyclamen is very interesting to photograph. They start off as tight buds, the perfect little tulip-looking forms and then, they open up widely, esposing their centers. I often find myself purchasing them in the winter because they are just so happy-looking!

I play with background myself and also am amazed at what a difference the background can make. The light background creates a soft, calming photo while the dark background, focuses more attention on the details of the flower. Isn’t it fun to play?

5 01 2011
Tomas Turecek

Yes, it is funny and also edifying 😉

26 01 2011
Barbara Kile

These are lovely and I like the composition!

27 01 2011
Tomas Turecek

I’m glad that you like them, Barbara.

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