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September Dahlias

The Dahlia Garden

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Friday Slide Show: Dancing Dahlias Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

9 September 2016

We didn't trust the weather, so the first sunny day in September we walked over to the Dahlia Garden in Golden Gate Park to see what those riotous blooms were doing.

Dahlias crack us up. We're not sure how they all came to be considered the same species because the blooms are so different. Some look like daisies. Some look like Scrub Daddies. Some look like they need a haircut. Some like millefiori.

They all do grow from bulbs, so maybe that's it.

But their shapes and colors are as so varied they make roses look like they're in uniform.

Oh, those colors. Riotous indeed. Insane reds. Brilliant whites. Yellows stolen from the sun. Orange. No blue of course, but purple will do. Royally.

The bees love them.

We love them. We've been shooting them for years now, usually late in the afternoon on the Sunday after Opera in the Park.

Insane reds. Brilliant whites. Yellows stolen from the sun. Orange. No blue of course, but purple will do. Royally.

But, like we said, this year, we didn't dare wait.

We shot these with a Nikon D300 and 18-200mm lens so we could get right in there without climbing the iron fence. We also brought along a Lensbaby Twist 60 but those images are for another day.

Part of the fun is framing the composition. But when we brought these into Lightroom we decided to ignore our formal framing and go wild.

Our in-camera framing included the whole flower and often a group of flowers. We did move in for a few close-ups but the fence made it impossible in some cases and depth of field was always an issue. So, for the most part, we shot them as we've shot them in the past (listed in our See Also sidebar).

But in Lightroom, we cropped them a lot tighter, as if they were macro shots without the depth of field problem. It was a lot harder than it sounds because we liked the original crops and it pained us to throw so much of the image away. But what we gained was movement.

So with our tight crops, you too can see them dance.

We did kick up the Clarity and adjusted the sliders slightly one way or the other. We added a pinch of Saturation to most of them, too, as a sort of color restoration. And that's about all we did.

The dahlias did most of the work themselves.

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