About Macro Photography Flower Subjects – Petals
After seeing a number of macro photography flower photos, our friend’s 6 year old child asked “Why are the petals on the flowers different?”. This was another one of those inquisitive questions from children where there is just no quick and simple answer. I must admit that the toughest questions have always been from children.
The life of a macro photographer is not only about taking the perfect macro photo. More than often, it is important to gain some knowledge about your photography subjects as well.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the answer to the question, so we searched online and came across a recent article on Live Science on ‘How Flower Petals Get Their Shape’. Based on the article –
1. A new study has found that there is a hidden biological map within the bud of the flower.
2. These maps are made out of patterns of arrows which provides instructions to the cells within the flower bud on how it should grow.
Chow from Live Science then discusses the following –
In a leaf, the pattern of arrows is directed toward the tip of the bud, giving the leaf a more pointed shape. With petals, the arrows appear more fanned out, which explains how flower petals tend to have more rounded ends than leaves, the researchers said.
The study also showed that a gene called Jagged controls the growth of petals. This gene is located in a region of the biological map that interacts with the pattern of arrows, the researchers said.
Part of the reason why petals and leaves are different shapes lies in evolution, because the leaves and petals fulfill different functions, according to the study scientists. Leaves are primarily involved in photosynthesis, capturing light and acquiring sugars to feed the plant. Petals, however, develop later in a plant’s life cycle, and are used to attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.
Hopefully this has provided you with an insight into the petals of your macro photography flower subjects. Now all we need to do is come up with an explanation that is acceptable to the 6 year old!
Help share this around so that everyone can start preparing their answers to the tough questions that children have on macro photography flower photos!