an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Starfire

leek flowers desaturated

Leeks.

leeks in the garden

What leeks normally look like.

Nothing fancy, just a little work in PhotoShop on a very common vegetable. These are the flowers for leeks, a member of the onion family. They are biennial as onions are, growing greens and growing their bulbs the first year, which is when we usually pull and use them. If left to overwinter in the ground the second year the bloom in June with big spheres of flowers at the ends of long rays; these spheres can vary between 2″ and 5″ in diameter. The flowers are pale yellow with a pinkish tinge, but the rays vary from pale pink to bright magenta.

Seeing them in the garden they made me think of balloons on long strings, and abstract patterns. I photographed them from all angles trying for total darkness in the background, and then found I had to adjust some levels because of the contrasts of dark and light I had included in the photos, discovering how cool it looked with just the pink. So I desaturated the green and yellow and left the red, magenta and blue channels alone. Below is a closeup of them.

Leeks are also highly attractive to bees, which is one of the reasons I let them bloom in my garden. All kinds of bees large and small and all colors and shapes come to visit the leeks, bees I’ve never seen before. Here’s a photo of a leek flower with a few bees hanging onto it in Daytime Fireworks.

leek flowers

Leeks again.

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