Capturing the Beauty of Rhubarb in Photography

Lately I’m all about capturing the beauty of rhubarb in photography because rhubarb is beautiful— especially the red variety, which is what I have. With it’s bold, crinkly leaves and brilliant red stems my “Canada Red Rhubarb” is absolutely stunning.

Where I live, rhubarb is the first plant to poke it’s leaves out of the ground and when I see those pinkish shoots I know spring has officially arrived. I immediately think of how delicious a homemade rhubarb pie is going to taste. This tangy vegetable baked in a pie and smothered with ice cream is something I look forward to every year.

So, now that I’ve harvested my rhubarb, and before I bake that pie (or whatever), I must celebrate it’s beauty by using it as the focus of my photography.

Capturing the beauty of rhubarb

I chose “Tiled” as my background as I thought the green leaves and red stalks would do best against a neutral backdrop.

First I wanted to capture the beauty of the rhubarb leaves, and because it was a dreary dull day when I was shooting, the low light and shadows only served to accentuate the crinkles.

In Lightroom I used the brush tool to paint a mask over the leaves and increased the highlights and texture. Using that same mask selection, I used the color mixer to desaturate the greens as the leaves were a bit over-the-top bright. I then applied the “Lift Shadows” preset (from Lightroom) to each image.

Capturing the beauty of rhubarb.

I love the look of rhubarb when the tops have been chopped off. I love how it shows the structure of the plant where the stalks fan out into the top of the leaves. How beautiful!

Capturing the beauty of rhubarb in photography.

After I chopped off the last bits of the leaves, I realized they were beautiful as well.

And finally, the chopped rhubarb stalks capture light and shadow perfectly when set inside a beautiful saucepan. I like to chop the stalks on a diagonal since I think it just adds a bit more interest.

Capturing the beauty of rhubarb in photography.

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