Congratulations on your first bloom Donald. I hope there are many, many more to bloom this season!
I can't imagine I would call it a trick, but it seems like the best photos come from overcast days or bright shade. I'll send a photo, next, from last season that shows quite a bit of texture and detail on an otherwise jet black iris ('Blackalicious') in the shade.
In direct sun, the contrast is so high and the light is so harsh that the camera tends to overcompensate by making the darks too dark (in order to keep from overexposing the image). In the less harsh light the details have a much better chance of showing through.
If you were insane, you might even consider moving into the HDR (high dynamic range) realms, which involves merging several exposures of the same image into one with everything properly exposed. I've only dipped my toes into that process myself.
All that said, the image looked perfectly clear to me and I'm envious.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Donald Eaves" <donald@...> wrote:
> The season starts. Not expecting much this year. The drought here and the
> chewing damage throughout the winter and still ongoing is surely going to
> have a negative effect. This one is way out of sequence. That may mean
> that many that tend to bloom earlier aren't going to bloom at all. The
> stalks on this plant appear to have only the terminal bud. It usually has
> 3-4 buds. On the other hand it looks like it has pollen this year. In all
> the years I've had this one bloom it's never had pollen before. The
> seedling is AT LAST X LUELLA DEE and has been posted before. I finally got
> viable seeds from it and have three seedlings growing in pots now. It's a
> dark red and I lightened the balance on the photo. It's a little too
> bright, but the original was so dark the pattern didn't show and that's
> visible when viewing it in the garden. Any trick to taking photos of dark
> Donald Eaves
> Texas Zone 7b, USA