Caryn Esplin - Lake Powell Lily Bud

1. I shot this bud at f/1.8 with my new lens: Nikon 85mm 1.4. It was just about to open. I think it was one of my very favorite shots because of the anticipation of the beauty within.

Caryn Esplin - Soft Light Lily

2. I love the soft morning light. Getting up early is the only way to get this warm glow, and the low angle that produces such nice shadows.

Caryn Esplin - Lake Powell Lilies

3. Getting down low allowed me to frame in the Raptor Rock and blue sky in the background.

Caryn Esplin - Morning Bloom - Lake Powell Lilies

4. The top view is not normally my favorite way to shoot flowers. However, I liked the contrast of the top angle to show the neighboring bud that would become tomorrow's blossom. Each bloom only lasts one day.

Caryn Esplin - Red Rock Lily - Lake Powell

5. Keep things simple by showing a blurry background. It lends a nice contrast to the sharp subject on the side of the frame.

Caryn Esplin - Rock Crop Lilies - Light Painting Lake Powell flowers

6. Of course, I could not resist a little light painting right after these beauties opened up around 10pm.

Caryn Esplin - Night Lilies - Light Painting Lake Powell flowers

7. I light painted select lilies for about 10 seconds total on this shot. f/10 10 sec ISO:100

Caryn Esplin - Light Painted Lilies at Lake Powell

8. A mid range zoom gives you some detail, but an overall context of the scene.

Caryn Esplin - Lake Powell Lilies - Desert Blooms

9. Blurring the background with an f/2 makes me happy. It just sets off your subject.

Caryn Esplin - Lake Powell Lily Bouqet

10. Who wouldn't want a desert bouquet of fresh, white flowers? Even if they only last 18 hours.

Caryn Esplin - Desert Lily Bush

11. Another low angle shows some sky and more red rocks. I had to get flat to the ground to get this angle.

Amazing Desert Flowers – 18 hour Lake Powell Lilies.
When we found a location to park our house boat, we got a bonus. Besides a nice beach, beautiful red rock formation, private cove, and deep spot for the boat, we also lucked out with this rare bush of beautiful lilies. Well, I think they are lilies. I can’t find anything about these flowers at Lake Powell when I google it. They remind me of some cactus blooms I have photographed in the past that only last one day, yet they look more like lilies.  So until someone helps me out with what species this is, I am going to call them desert lilies. These flowers open up about one hour after sunset, which in this case, was around 10:00 p.m. Then they enjoy the cooler night and last until about 4:00 p.m. the next day. It seems they finally succumb to the heat of the day and wilt to nothing. Then more buds open up six hours later, when things have cooled off a bit. We had quite the show each morning. It was fun to see a new crop of flowers for three or four consecutive days. This is the first time I remember seeing these flowers in the past ten years. The lake was also about 50 feet higher this year, due to an amazing amount of runoff and higher river flows. A very wet year helped bring out these “desert lilies.” Anyone know what they really are?

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