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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Truly red daylilies
they do exist...

I have a vivid memory of a deep red daylily, backlit, amongst the monarda, highlited by a splash of sun amongst the early morning shade[1] , somewhere on this site. I loved that image, and have attempted to recreate it for years, and because my memory is so malleable, I can't tell if this the original, or a second recreation.

/E620/2012/20120708/P7080137.JPG Olympus E620, zuiko 50mm macro lens, 2012, unedited.

This image, shot six years later, in 2012, is another variation: not as backlit, but nicely composed. Also, the .jpeg saturation algorithm for the Olympus is not as aggressive, on the whole, as the Lumix or my phone.

Here's a blacklit example from 2019, shot with the lumix

Seven years after 2012 shot, the ur-image continues to inspire. In this case, the daylilies are planted in the front yard (& towards the front half of the yard as well), and thus get slanting western afternoon sun, rather than morning sun filtering from the east, thus making hereto unavailable front-flower facing backlit shot possible. (IOW, the flowers lean towards a hole in the canopy east of them, but the slanting light snakes it way in from the west later in the day. This isn't possible in the backyard because the house blocks western sun.)

red daylilies with raindrops 14:40 16jul2020, 1/250sec, ev0.0 f2.8, cloudy white balance. Lumix LX100

And here are the same plants, with much the same flowers, a year later. This cultivar is also fairly resistant to water-spotting: flowers are pretty with raindrops on them, but not when they shrivel and lose their colour as a result. Note, too, that the red has a more blue cast on cloudy days. Some of this has to do with the way the camera processes colour, but I notice this with my eyes too:)

/LumixDMC-LX100/2020LX100/20200718LX/P1150104.JPG -0.3 ev; 1/1250sec; f2.8; 18:25pm

Still trying for that perfect backlit shot of a red daylily; this one is nicely framed with Japanese hedge parsley[2] with a backdrop of highly blurred orangey yellow daylilies (up next;). I happen to like the airy quality of Japanese wild carrot—like baby's breath in a bouquet of red roses.

I have been pursuing the perfect red daylily photograph since at least 2006 (possibly longer). Though I've made some decent ones, I'm still on the hunt for the one that matches that half-lost memory.

[1]Not too early: daylilies, as the name implies, need time to open, the deep red ones are amongst the later-opening.

[2]This Eurasian wild carrot species is technically considered an invasive species, so once it finishes blooming, I pull it to control it, as it will indeed take over. Well, Queen Anne's lace will too, of course. Fun fact: evidently one of the reasons Queen Anne's lace is, despite its being the ancestor of domesticated carrots, planta non grata in the Midwest, where I live—a noxious weed—is that its seeds are an abortificient for both people and livestock.


[2006] [garden] [red] [2012] [2019] [2020] [daylily]