The Royal Azalea is the first azalea to bloom in our yard, usually in early May. Of course everything is early this spring, so they are already in bloom. I shot this bud about 5 days ago when they were just starting to open – the entire shrub is now covered with beautiful blooms!
Nikon 300S and Nikon 105mm f/2.8 micro lens.
I used Nik Color Efex 4 Classical Soft Focus, Topaz Simplify Watercolor, and a very low opacity layer of Fractalius. The texture is Aventura from French Kiss Textures.
Featured in Backyard Macro and Close-ups (April 28, 2012)