Monday, September 26, 2016



It finally dawned on me (pun intended) that I had been limiting myself by taking pictures that look similar to iris vendor catalog shots.

The pictures in vendor catalogs generally show you a close-up looking at the middle of a fall or looking between two falls. This is a good way to show us the primary characteristics and coloring of the iris so that we know what we are buying.

But why continue to take pictures as if I am a vendor when I am not? I am not going to publish a catalog or send out a brochure. I can have more freedom, options and artistic ability if I take a variety of different poses from different distances.

'Elizabethan Age'  Lowell Baumunk, 2005
This photograph has four open blooms, a different perspective, and several buds as well as several blurred clumps in the background making for an interesting color combination and artistic composition.  'Elizabethan Age' is so stately and loves to bloom with its identical quadruplets.

'Be Original' - Joseph Ghio, 2008 & 'Versailles'  Keith Keppel, 2006          
In contrast, I took these pictures in the traditional "catalog pose". I love them both and think it's a great way to photograph each bloom, but the purpose of this article is to explore other perspectives as you will see below.

'Prague'  Thomas Johnson, 2004

Notice in this photograph I am capturing two blooms at once as well as two flanking buds. This was 'Prague's' second year blooming in our garden and I especially enjoyed peeking at the underlining of the falls.

'Victoria Falls'  Schreiner, 1977
'Victoria Falls' makes a wonderful splash of blue when photographed from eight feet away. As long as you have no heavy winds, you will love this flower.

'Mink Pink'  Brad Kasperek, 2011

 'Winning Hand' Joseph Ghio, 2011
Foreground has 'Mink Pink' by Brad Kasperek and in the distance 'Winning Hand'. I believe this picture is more enjoyable because of the combination of flowers.

'English Charm'  Barry Blyth, 1989
I was pleasantly surprised by the blend of colors from our maiden bloom of this flower. This iris has flowers tipped every which way but they are "charming".

'Drama Queen'  Keith Keppel, 2002

'Drama Queen' never takes a bad photograph. I deliberately sharpened the focus on the front flower and blurred the one behind. To me, this makes the picture more artistically pleasing.

'Romantic Gentleman'  Barry Blyth, 2002

'Romantic Gentleman' was also a maiden bloom this year. I would have taken more pictures of this iris with it's lovely color and branching, however, this bloom is particularly susceptible to white spots from rain and we had a lot of rain during its bloom period.

Don't forget to take some far away shots and even some panoramic ones. I can't think of a better way of showing the garden setting. Another advantage is the weeds don't show as much.

'St. Louis Blues'  Schreiner,  1979
'St. Louis Blues' is fairly old but look at the contrasting beards, the branching. and the rich blue color.

'Happenstance' Keith Keppel, 2000
This image has one image superimposed on top of the other. I think it adds novelty.

'Shouting Match' Keith Keppel, 2013
This was a maiden boom and I appreciate one in front of the other.

'Eye for Style' Barry Blyth, 2006
This pretty bloom branches itself beautifully as if competing for attention.

Do you find yourself producing photos that conform to the conventions of the iris catalogs? Try some different angles and see how you like the results. Let me know your results or better yet publish them or send me a copy. Have fun and experiment a little with some new perspectives.


  1. Lovely post, Dawn. Want to have them all. :)

  2. Thanks Andi! I thought I had my iris consumption under control, but after joining all of the iris facebook groups and following all the blogs, I am now up to 584 different cultivars. Somebody please help me!!! :) :)

  3. Hey Dawn, Guess you can call me mostly a and enjoy posts but dont comment very much. You make some valid points about photography of iris. But your photos are always perfectly gorgeous anyway. Love your garden there in Utah! Keep putting out the great posts!! Youre a true inspiration.
    Thanks for listening!

  4. Dear Randy,
    Thanks for making an exception and commenting for a change. As I am sure you know I love taking pictures of our irises. It just occurred to me this year to add more variety. It helped that I had the new macro lense. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. Your iris are spectacular! I'm excited to see another person from Utah here.As I told Susan Holland Spicer, I'm from Provo and have hardly or no place to get all info. Utah county doesn't do a lot with iris. The most I've seen are purple and maybe yellow. Thank you for your great info

  6. Enjoyed all the pictures but that mountain in the background was just wonderful with the iris in the forefront. Just beautiful iris you have!--Claudia Andersen

    1. Thanks Claudia,
      More of God's creations. Love the mountain back drop and all the iris. Thanks Claudia


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