This is the first year that the pond in our backyard is in such a state, that my wife and I had decided that dismantling and rebuilding the pond was in our best interest. The growth of weeds and volunteer trees was more than the torch could clean out not to mention the odd rock that has fallen in and become cumbersome to pull out. So this year is one of the first years I am without a water lily subject to photograph through out the summer season. Until next year I have a handful of images I would like to pull out of the digital storage device and talk about.
This image was one of the first that I had converted from color to black and white, opening up a whole new way of seeing these flowers. I don’t have to tell you that I am a bigger fan of black and white and the how it gives a fine art look it gives to the subject. For this subject, once I manipulated the reds and greens to greyscales I became excited for the possibilities that opened for the rest of my collection of waterlilies.
At the time I found the plant at the height of it health and production of it flowers as well as it’s pads. The pond too was in perfect balance with fish, toads and insects that for some became part of the images while other became food. As important is the health of the plants and pond, was also the surrounding area of the pond. My pond is located in the backyard shaded by the tall ornamental grasses and Black Walnut Tree. With that and the combination of the path of the sun in the summer, shadows and reflections played a vital role in the creation of all my waterlily images. So why does this image work for me?
I love how there are two subjects here; the first is the flowers themselves, right high of center and flowing down to the right corner. The secondary subject is the pads that are caught in muted light as well as the reflection at the bottom of the image. As I look at these subjects, my eye is directed in a triangular direct through the frame then slowly moving out to the upper left where the lilies pads reside in the shadows. I find the way I direct the viewer through my image with light still give them the ability to explore more easily so that all the details are consumed. Again I feel that what you don’t see, the trees and ornamental grasses, played a big part in shaping this image.
As the work on the pond commenses, I will try to document portions of its progress, but until then I will try to post periodically post my water lily images and to spread the beauty of the summer captured in black and white. I am also considering in making the collection available as a box set of prints. Still working the detail of that and my store on the website so before it goes live I will announce it first to you.