It’s normally best to take pictures of flowers under overcast skies. This brings out texture and dimension without lots of harsh shadows—which are harsher on film (or pixels) than with the naked eye. Occasionally, though, I like a picture of a flower taken in bright, morning sunlight. This one was taken right after a rain shower, and the direct light provides an almost unnatural clarity without too much in the way of harsh shadows. There’s a bit of an artificial quality to it that isn’t really to my taste, but once in a while it makes for a nice change from my usual fare.

For those of you curious about how this would look in black-and-white, I’ve included a second version of the photo. I did this quickly, and there are lots of different ways of converting color to black-and-white, but this is an example of how black-and-white isolates form and shadow, if that’s what you’re after. I prefer the color version in this case, but tastes vary.

April 19, 2018 — Irvine, California

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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