Flora Color




Color accuracy in photographing flora is a much discussed topic. Botanists agree that color is often not a reliable characteristic in flora identification, due to the fact the color changes with maturity of the plant, and can vary according to soil conditions and moisture.

Another variable is that within a species, slight variations in color are noticeable: Eschscholzia californica, the California Golden Poppy, for example.

Variations in color occur from changes in light: The poppy as it opens in early morning looks different than when observed at midday or early afternoon.

Databases of photographs of flora show all of these variables. CalPhotos Berkley is a good example, where dozens of photographers submit photographs of a given flower, each with slight differences in hue.

Most botanist/photographers agree that they attempt to record the color as observed. Anything else comes down to personal preference when editing the photograph on the computer.

Many photographers choose their camera based on how it reproduces color according to their preconceptions of what a given color should be.

Below are samples of flora as they looked when I photographed them. I am happy that the camera did an excellent job in this regard.




Click on the photograph to view a larger size in a new Tab. In the new Tab, click on the photograph to switch between fit-to-screen, and full size, where you can scroll around to look at details.


01calandrina1259aw
Calandrina spectabilis
02clarkia_unguiculata01001w
Clarkia unguiculata
03mimulus_aurantiacus08655w
Mimulus aurantiacus
04justicia_spicigera06533w
Justicia spicigera
05tecomaria_capensis08821w
Tecomaria capensis
06asclepias08885w
Asclepias curassavica
07salvia_greggii00990w
Salvia microphylla
08amsinckia_10960w
Amsinckia tessellata
08astragalus_lentiginosus_var_variabilis01787-w
Astragalus lentiginosus var. variabilis
09a-leucophyllum_frutescens06554w
Leucophyllum frutescens
09b-tradescantia_pallida10116aw
Tradescantia pallida
09c-salvia_leucantha1964w
Salvia leucantha
09e-erodium00869w
Erodium cicutarium
10caesalpinia_pulcherrima08698w
Caesalpinia pulcherrima
11layia_platyglossa11300w1
Layia platyglossa
12aquilegia01722w
Aquilegia chrysantha
13dandelion0972aw
Taraxacum officinale
14taraxacum_officinale1271w
Taraxacum officinale
15parkinsonia_acculeata02952aw
Parkinsonia acculeata
16medicago_polymorpha00953aw
Medicago polymorpha
17oxalis9420w
Oxalis pes-caprae
18cactus05286aw
Species of Cactus
19eschscholzia_californica01189w
Eschscholzia californica
20a-floral1153w
Species of Gazania
20b-floral1160bw
Species of Gazania
21hibiscus_siriacus06264w
Hibiscus siriacus
23ceanothus06622w
Ceanothus sp.
24nemophila_maculata00704aw
Nemophila maculata
25commelina00957w
Commelina communis
26lupinus_succulentus06291w
Lupinus succulentus


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