Evolution Of A Photograph: Zinnias #44H, 44F, 44D, 44B & 44

November 1, 2014

My initial thought was to post these five photos in reverse order, showing the original first, as to show the true evolution of the photograph. However, I decided that in order to catch your eye, it would be best to post them in the order shown. The leaves of this plant are green, however, because of the setting I used on my relatively new camera, they appear blue in these photographs. I now know which setting to use, but I like this look.  I would like to request of you to let me know via a comment which particular photo you like best. I’m not sure which is my favorite, and you doing so will help me in the future as I work on whatever limited skill I possess as a digital photographer. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Zinnias are a genus of twenty species of flowering plants of the Asteracea family, however more than one hundred different plants have been cultivated since crossbreeding them began in the nineteenth century. Zinnias, which is also their botanical name, are native to the scrub and dry grasslands of southwestern United States, Mexico and Central America. Noted for their long-stemmed flowers that come in a variety of bright colors, Zinnias are named for German professor of botany Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759).

These flowers are perennial plants in frost-free climates, but are an annual everywhere else. With leaves opposite each other, their shapes range from linear to ovate, with colors from pale to middle green. The blooms come in different shapes as well, ranging from a single row of petals to a doom shape. Their colors range from purple, red, pink, orange, yellow and white to multicolored. There are many different types of Zinnias. They come in dwarf types, quill-leaf cactus types, spider types, ranging from six inches high with a bloom less than an inch in diameter to plants four feet tall with seven-inch blooms. This plant will grow in most soil types, but thrives in humus-rich, well-watered, well-drained soils. They like the direct sun at least six hours a day; however, they will tolerate just the afternoon sun.

If grown as an annual, they can be started early indoors around mid April. Any earlier and they just might grow too large to manage as the plant germinates in only five to seven days. However, these plants are said to dislike being transplanted. If seeding is done outdoors, they should be sown in late May, after the threat of the last frost, when the soil is above sixty degrees. They will reseed themselves each year. Plant the seeds a quarter-inch deep, covered with loose soil. For bushier plants, pinch off an inch from the tips of the main stems while the plant is still young.

Steven H. Spring