Backlit Lilies at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Last Saturday, our family visited the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont, near Charlotte, and met up with another photographer. We spent an excellent morning shooting photos of the gorgeous flora (and occasional fauna).

For this shot, I affixed my Nikon prime 24mm, got down low and captured this strongly backlit image. The delicate colors of the lilies were further muted by the transilluminating sunlight.

The exposure for this image was tricky but with careful planning, I was able to shoot this in two attempts (1 EV difference). I was shooting in Aperture priority at f/9.5 and in Raw (to provide as much latitude as possible). I horizontally metered on the flowers themselves before recomposing to include the sun and had a 0.5EV underexposure dialed in (my normal setting). The first shot was at 1/250′ and this one was at 1/500′. While the previous one is usable, I did not get the sun exactly where I wanted it (in diagonal with the flowers). Of course, the sun washed out, but it is perfectly acceptable for a non-HDR image.

The rest of the process was merely adjusting tonalities in Photoshop, applying some sharpening to the image, and popping a bit of vibrance in. I have had far more complicated post-processing in “straightforward” images!

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