Dandelion Clock

Dandelions are pretty when they are wild, but a nightmare when they infest and ruin your lawn. In bloom, and also as a seed head, they have a simple but beautiful symmetry.

It’s my impression that the Dandelion season arrived early this year in the UK. By mid May when today’s image was taken, many of them were already in seed.

My wife and I were out on a shortish walk when we came across a carpet of Dandelion seed heads. There was an image to be found. Dandelion seed heads are not easy to photograph because they are perfectly shaped globes of seeds. The problem always is how do you get a decent shot while still retaining sharpness across the whole seed head?

One answer is to shoot directly from above onto a seed head that has lost all its seeds from the waist up. You then get a circular, flattish plane of seeds and a dark green background. The task is to find that specimen – not as easy as it sounds. Yes, one could cheat and slowly pluck out seeds to achieve the desired effect, but the purist in me wanted to capture one prepared by nature. And my patience was eventually rewarded.

_DS79088Meanwhile my wife had plodded on back to the car. My task completed, I was off at a jog to catch her up. I found her propped against the car door. ‘At last’, she said, ‘What kept you this time?’ ‘Dandelions’, I replied. She wasn’t particularly impressed when I showed her the pictures: ‘They are all imperfect, couldn’t you find a perfect one?’ We all see the world differently, don’t we.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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22 Responses to Dandelion Clock

  1. poppytump says:

    So beautiful Andy . The depth of field from that angle makes for a lovely starry constellation .
    I love how an untouched dandelion seedhead encapsulates a certain ethereal fragility which belies the eventual explosive and multiplying consequences of disturbance …
    A weed it maybe but as you say .. we all see the world differently 🙂

  2. oneowner says:

    I suspect your wife may have been joking with you about the perfect dandelion. This works very well for me.

  3. Len says:

    That really does look like a face of a clock Andy. This is a great macro – sharp in all of the right places.

  4. Beautiful shot Andy…you just take them for granted until you see them up close…then you realise how beautiful they are.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks James. I agree. Viewed from this angle there is no appreciable overlap and you see everything, including that central bald spot which in itself has an inherent beauty to it.

  5. Gracie says:

    Ah, but this looks perfect to me.

  6. John Linn says:

    Great detail and color. Like it!

  7. Earl Moore says:

    Andy, I’m more of the mind that they’re all perfect in their own right. It somehow reminds me of the words of the recently deceased literary master Maya Angelou concerning humility and remembering everyone we meet are our equals at something.

    Beautiful photo with exceptional detail…it was worth the time invested! 🙂

  8. Phillip says:

    What a beautiful shot. I love the funny story. It is amazing how sometimes those who know and loves us the most don’t always understand how we as photographers struggle to be more patient with our subjects, processes, and even things like waiting for just the right timing, in order to make that next photograph the best. Maybe, this is one reason that I find myself shooting alone most of the time.

    • LensScaper says:

      Your observations are spot-on, Phillip. My wife is a saint when it comes to my photography, but she doesn’t always see the attraction in a lot of what I choose to photograph. Our ‘Eyes’ are very different – beauty has a different definition for each one of us. And like you my best photography is often done when I am on my own, with no-one patiently waiting for me, no-one clock-watching.

  9. I’ve never seen much beauty in the ole Dandy, until I saw this shot you have here. I really like this image, Andy. Great clarity, DoF and overall detail. Now I’m not going to start growing these but this is a pretty darn good looking one by any standard. 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks do much for that comment, Jimi. I really was very pleased how this image turned out, particularly the definition in the bald head of the seed head. I just wish they would stay in the wild and not invade the garden!

  10. Jim Nix says:

    crisp and awesome, just perfect mate

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