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Lilies are probably my Favorite

White Daylily Copyright 2000  Andy Richards

White Daylily
Copyright 2000 Andy Richards

I am not botanist, so I don’t know this to be fact, but it seems to me that the lily is the most common garden flower. There are so many colors, textures, sizes and varieties of lily. Their shape, texture and color have always been a draw to my eye.

Pink Day Lily Copyright  Andy Richards

Pink Day Lily
Copyright 2008 Andy Richards

We have always had a variety of lilies in our garden, and it seems like I spot them everywhere I go.

Yellow Lily Copyright  Andy Richards

Yellow Lily
Copyright 2008 Andy Richards

Over the 15 year span from 1996 until recently, I have found different ways to photograph lilies. In the early years, I focused (pun intended) on sharpness and depth of field. As I became more adventurous, I varied my shots from small aperture, great depth of field, to blurred background, lower depth of field. I was to learn that the “look” of that blurred background was referred to as “bokeh.” I read that different lenses produced better bokeh than others.

Yellow Day Lily Copyright 2013  Andy Richards

Yellow Day Lily
Copyright 2013 Andy Richards

Much later, in 2013, I acquired my first very fast f1.8 lens designed by the engineers at the legendary Carl Zeiss and manufactured in conjunction with Carl Zeiss and Sony. I quickly learned the “real” meaning of bokeh, shooting with my new Sony mirrorless camera and the Zeiss-designed lens. It may well be that the wide-open f1.8 aperture was the largest contributor.

Red Day Lily Copyright 2013  Andy Richards

Red Day Lily
Copyright 2013 Andy Richards

Sometime a few years after I re-started shooting in 1986, I felt that I had done all the flower closeups I could. I had burned out on those shots. Then, when I stared playing with the Zeiss lens, I felt compelled to shoot more and more flowers. I really like the new images.

Crimson Day Lily Copyright  Andy Richards

Crimson Day Lily
Copyright 2008 Andy Richards

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