Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chrysanthemum Days

"A Floral Crown"
(1/50 sec.@ F/7.1, ISO 320, 55mmfl, handheld, diffused late day light)

Today's post is an image I took this past weekend at the 90th Anniversary of the Fall Mum Show put on by the amazing parks staff at the Gage Park Greenhouses.
Each year they display over 75,000 chrysanthemums for the public! The bloom pictured above was one of a giant wall filled in part with these rare beauties, this one's head twice the size of my fist.
And oh the colors... ranging from deep reds, to pure whites, creamy yellows to vibrant fuchsias. Any photographer's delight. I will post an overall image to give you a glimpse as to the extent of coverage throughout the greenhouse. Think wall to wall color, jam packed into amazing patterns and displays. And tucked within each section, a waterfall too! It was simply beautiful.
This flower above is my personal favorite from the day. It's colors understated yet regal, and it's shape telling us that it's about to fully burst open any second.

Some facts about this shoot; firstly, the greenhouse is so jammed with blooms that you'd be inciting riots if you wandered through the popular show with a tripod, so this was shot handheld. I shoot in manual, and manually focused as well to get the desired sharpness despite my aperture. It was very late in the day, so the light filtering in through the opaque glass above was minimal, hence my reluctant use of a much higher ISO than I like to. But it allowed me to get the exposure I was looking for so there you have it. And these days ISO is much kinder when it comes to noise or grain visibility, so I wasn't overly concerned. I could have resorted to flash, but I knew it would have given a less subtle look and would add a harsher shadow or color tone within the composition.
My only real adjustment in editing was to heighten the red tones a bit to compliment the warm yellow, and to add a bit more drama overall.
As usual, if you prefer to see the shot enlarged please click on the image. Press your return arrow to come back to the page.
I'll take the opportunity to applaud the greenhouse and parks staff who have been preparing for this year's show for many many months, and who have once again delighted the community with their hard work and effortless looking beauty. Hamilton is certainly a more beautiful place with them in it!

Thanks all for letting me ramble on, and as always feel free to leave a comment or two! Have a good one!


  1. Beautiful. Love how you share your experience with the shot :)

  2. Thanks Heather :-) I try to include some info for all those hard core photogers that live on information, but still have a bit of a story for those who just like the images.
    The greenhouse is a very special place for me personally.
    Have a super day girl! Lord bless ya!

  3. Christine,
    This shot is really quite beautiful! The low lighting and the subtle color suit this image well. I can understand why this one was your fav! Also you can tell that greenhouse is one of your fav locations by the way you describe it. It almost as though your describing a shot of one of your kids. Thanks for the info of the shot as well. I like seeing that info, so I can not go play too and see what I come up with if I am in a similar location. Keep up the great work!


  4. Thanks Dave. Always good hearing from you buddy. Yep, I have a special history with the park and the greenhouse, it was a favorite haunt of my grandad's when I was a child. I feel like it's my own backyard most times, lol.
    Glad you can use the info too... I always love when another photographer posts settings.