It is the middle of winter, so it must be time for the Magnolias to be flowering in San Francisco Botanical Garden.

Magnolia sargentiana, (Sargent’s magnolia) flowering deciduous tree in San Francisco Botanical Garden

The winter flowering deciduous Magnolias are a huge feature here, with one of the largest collections in the United States.

The trees are quite large with most of the flowers floating at the ends of branches high above a traditional angle for flower photography.  A telephoto lens is a must.

I find myself walking around and around the tree, straining my neck to find an angle that will separate a flower from the crossing branches, but knowing a telephoto lens will throw distant branches out of focus.

This flower was well over my head but walking 20 feet away I was able to look back on it to get a near straight on viewpoint.

Magnolia campbellii, Pink Tulip tree flowering in San Francisco Botanical Garden

However, the straight up view over my head angle was not so bad either, as I picked up backlight that made the petals nearly translucent.

Magnolia campbellii, Pink Tulip tree flowering in San Francisco Botanical Garden

These two photos are the same flower, but very different angles give them them a completely different look.  Sometimes it takes multiple photos to tell the whole story.

More lessons in Details and Vignettes Chapter 6 in my Garden Photography ebook, Think Like a Camera

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here