On the Verge

©Ingrid Popplewell

Passionate gardener and photographer Ingrid Popplewell captured this Jane Phillips iris in her garden at the end of May, when it looks most spectacular, she says. The flower is large—about the size of a human hand—and typically several blooms are in various stages on the same plant.

“I prefer to photograph flowers outdoors in their natural environment in natural light,” she says, “so I decided to concentrate on the extraordinary detail rather than the whole flower or plant. To avoid any shadows on the sunny morning I took these pictures, I made sure the area I was photographing was in shadow, casting it myself if necessary.” She used an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with an M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 macro lens.

Since she made the photos while handholding the camera, Popplewell made lots of them to be sure she came away with some that were correctly focused. “I generally use manual focus with the focus peaking option, which highlights the areas in the frame which are in focus,” she explains. “I tend to use a narrow depth of field when photographing flowers, so the focus point is crucial.”

“My aim is for simplicity, mystery, and beauty, and hopefully these images reflect that.”

Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.