© Brad Mangas

During my hike over the weekend in search for early wildflowers ones high on my list to look for were the fawn lilies. Also called the white fawn lily, white dog tooth violet and trout lily. I spent many hours last year in early spring looking for these blooms, many plants were found but all of last spring I only came across one bloom. This year is much better for the fawn lily blooms. In one heavy wooded area about an acre or two in size I think I spotted 6 or 7 blooms. Finding the blooms and photographing the blooms are entirely different subjects. I’m sure some of my problem is that I’m just to picky when it comes to my photography. And the problems with photographing this flora delight is that it is only 2-3 inches tall, so delicate the slightest breeze makes it move and it pops up surrounded by old brown leaves which I don’t want as the background.

So with an extension tube on my 70-200mm lens I made attempt after attempt for get down to bloom level and create something worthy of this species beauty. Many attempts, many not so good results. This is a shot of the last one I found, I had about 45 minutes to try to get something and I took every bit of that time.

On the wet woodland grounds waiting for still air (that never did happen) moving leaves out of the background shooting at maximum aperture opening and decreasing the exposure to help increase shutter speed and background brightness I did manage to get this shot.

Processing was done to again help eliminate some background highlights and to darken the overall exposure a little more. A softening layer was added using Topaz Detail which at the time seems to give a somewhat desired result. Time will tell, more work can be done.

For a photographic challenge I would encourage going after some of the small delicate wildflowers that exist hidden deep in the woodlands or out on the prairies (now that will be a game of dodge the wind at least here in Kansas). Small beautiful surprises await. Give yourself plenty of time and if at first you don’t succeed, try try again. After all that’s the name of the game when it comes to nature photography.