One more day and this star magnolia bud will pop out to a full bloom. I hope the weather will cooperate. We are expecting moderate to heavy rain for the next few days. It always seems to happen this way when these beautiful flowers bloom. In one day, the rain will turn them into droopy brown edged flowers. Last year, I did not even shoot the blooms because of the rain.
For Lexie: I used a macro lens to get this close up. The bud is about 3/4 inch long. I needed to get close to fill the camera image frame. I used a shallow depth of field to blur out the background evergreen bushes. Note that the bud casing in front of the blossom is out of focus. This is the trade-off I was managing. Also note that the shutter speed was high to freeze the bud in the wind. In post processing, I used Photoshop and NIK Color Efex Pro plugin. I used “tonal contrast” to pull out details in the bud and “darken/lighten center” to darken the edges and bring additional focus to the bud.