Garden Frame: Bella, Bellflower

Description:  A bellflower cluster (Campanula Carpatica) shot in the late afternoon sun

Background:  I knew almost nothing about bellflowers when I bought this plant. What little I knew had been gleaned from the label on the pot. They made their way to the garden by overwhelming me with their bluish-purple color presented as a star. My fondness for purple is either a blessing or a curse— I feel no need to determine which.

I have seen a few different plants labeled “bellflower,” and in the backyard I planted a few that my wife bought. They look nothing like this image, so I have no idea which cultivar they are. It doesn’t matter; the new guys are a beautiful lavender, so all is well.

These plants are listed as full to part-sun. Here, the summer heat makes part sun an absolute requirement. Plants in full sun stop blooming mid-summer and start up again in the fall. One thing I did not expect was the difficulty I’ve encountered in trying to photograph them. They are as challenging to capture properly as red flowers, which is true for digital and film. I keep trying because the color is magnifico!

Technical: Minolta Maxxum 7000i, Minolta 28-105mm f3.5-4.5, Kodak Portra 160 late afternoon sun (commercial lab and scan)

Comments: A golden hour image that captures the warmth of summer and the softness of the approaching evening. This is one of the few bellflower images that turned out as I hoped.  I’ll try again next season.

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