“Dandelion” (paintography) – Copyright Anne M. Freeman

Continuing with the sun theme (see the most recent Photo Challenge subject, “Sun,” in the post below), I’ve posted a photo of the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale).  I’ve used a paintography effect on the photo.

I grew up with negative concepts about the dandelion:  weed, pest, the bane of everyone’s green lawn.  I must have integrated those perceptions without knowing it, because I realized one day that although I photograph many wildflowers, I never photographed dandelions.  They are actually stunning flowers, nut I never thought of them as flowers – only as weeds.  That was the day I first photographed thedandelion.

Now, I rejoice in their round, golden heads popping up through unmown spring lawns, and bringing color to rutty old ditches.  Soon their their lovely, puffy seed heads will sprout.  My bet is that the architects who designed the Epcott Center in Disneyland used the dandelion seed head as their inspiration.

Because they begin blooming early in spring, dandelions are an important nectar sources for bees and early-emerging butteflies.   Apparently, dandelions were transported from Europe or Asia to the new world for that very purpose: as an early spring source of nector for honey bees.  So, people’s initial  reactions to dandelions was once positive.

They also have many medicinal uses.  According to the University of Maryland Medical School, “traditionally, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems.  Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney  disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional  Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems,  appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In  Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and  diarrhea.”  Read more: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/dandelion-000236.htm#ixzz1t0Rqyvgw

And finally, dandelions are a food source.  Their leaves are used as salad greens, and the flower heads can be used to make herbal wines.  Their roots can be roasted to make teas.

What are your reactions to the dandilion? Do you see a weed? A pest? A brilliant yellow wildflower? A food source?  An herb?  I’m curious to know if my former poor perception of the dandilion was mine alone, or have we collectively misaligned this lovely wildflower?  Do you take photopraphs of dandelions, or do you ignore them as I did?  If you have dandelion photos, post a photo on your blog and then post the link to it on your comment here.  Let’s celebrate the Dandelion!


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Purchase this photo print and other photo prints at:  http://www.shutterfly.com/pro/annefreemanimages/AnneFreemanImagesPhotoStore


Palawan Republik: http://wp.me/soLO

John Mullinax:  http://johnmullinax.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/weekly-photo-challenge-through/


28 thoughts on ““Dandelion”

  1. You could almost get by with posting that little number under the topic of ‘sun’. It sure is masquerading as such with its sunny little presence. 🙂

  2. There were no dandelions where I grew up but I think that they are pretty, as long as they are not in my little yard.We have a lot of them here and they get mowed. I was told that they are edible, my husband’s family even has a recipe for dandelion fritters, and some said the greens are good for salad, but I just can’t see them as food. It would be nice, however, to get a taste for them. Imagine the amount I’d save buying vegetables. 🙂

    • True, true. And people sure don’t like them in their yard. But my perspective now is that they dress up our yards and make them pretty. But, alas, I know I am in the yard minority. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Ok, what type of camera are you using? What I look for with this type of shot is the background. You do not want it distracting viewers from your main subject. More blur reduces noticeable shapes = less distraction. Also, color. Does it compliment items in your main subject. If you have a dslr camera you can control the background by using f/3.5 or f/4.5.

    • Rick – I followed your suggestion in the darkroom and darkened the backgroun and blurred the background a little more. If you have the chance, would you comment on the revision to see if it comes closer to what you were talking about? Thanks in advance.

  4. absolutely glowing, just like the sun in all its radiance, beautiful image anne ….. and thank you for the lovely comment about the children hiding form the sun in the shipwreck!

  5. Thanks, dadirri7. I’m glad you enjoyed the photo. By the way, love your avatar. Georgeous lily. I’m sure that you enjoyed photographing the children, they look like they’re having so much fun!

  6. I was always told that the dandelion is a weed, but the color is so brilliant against that backdrop of (hopefully) green grass, that I could never fully commit myself to ‘they need to be yanked out by their roots!’. You have given me ammunition for my argument, defending their beauty. Eye of the beholder, right? Your photo is amazing. P.S. thanks for dropping by my ‘sun’ post. And no, the trees are not in the water. That was just me fooling around with the shot. I hope I didn’t ruin it. I’m new at this photography thing and I’m hoping ‘fooling around’ is considered ‘being artistic’ 🙂
    Be seeing you…

    • I think your photo was terrific. I am not a purist. I enjoy using different paintography techniques myself, so you are in good company here. I use techniques all of the time. So glad you enjoyed the photo and post. They really are lovely flowers, aren’t they? Nice to meeti you.


  7. Whenever I see (or think of) dandelions I remember my oldest son bringing in little bouquets of them from the yard and proudly presenting them to me….definitely a beautiful flower, imo! Great photo!

  8. what a great way to look at dandelions. my husband and i purchased our home late july last year so we didn’t have to deal with dandelions much until spring this year. they have become the bane of my green lawn but since you pointed out so many great things about them i may just have to re-evaluate my view. thanks for sharing!! btw, i love the paintography!! how did you do it?

  9. Hi Peasquared. Thanks for coming by to see my dandelion photo. So glad you enjoyed it, and hope that you will smile when you see those pretty yellow manes this summer! I used the filter in photoshop elements and selected accented edges under Brush Strokes. Photoshop has many neat techniques for working with photos. Give it a try.


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