black and white flower

Making of a Print

Well I have picked up my print and I am meh about it. The printers did a fine job and printed exactly to the proof but I think where I feel it to be a loss is in the punch of the image. I think where I went wrong is not understanding the medium I was printing on. I was hoping that I would have a lot of the qualities of a photograph on the paper when it was never going to happen. But all is not lost

This is what the image has going for it; it is sharp throughout the image. There are no blown out whites or funny digital hiccups that detract from the image. The greyscale is exactly as I had created it and the dark are full. There is not a flaw in the print anywhere in this print. The only thing I don’t like is the lack of a punch in contrast that you get from a photographic paper. With that said, I am not going to trash it but stare at the print for a while and figure out what to do with it. I may just matte and sell it and let buyer frame it themselves. I am, however, going make a large print of the same image on photographic paper.

But to counter that small disappointment I created some images of my Yucca plant that is blooming in the backyard. This is the second year in a row that both plants have bloomed and so I took advantage of my day off and defused sunlight to make these images. Two of these images are shot in front of the vine plant growing next to it. I find that the green textured leaves of the vine plant make a great modeled background when it’s blurred out. The last one is done with black side of my reflector to hide what was behind the flower.

I really liked the soft defused light in the images I created and feel that it is the key that makes the photograph despite what I had originally planned. I was looking for the sunlight streaming through the tree to create drama of highlights and shadows that are in my water lily photographs. Instead I kept battling the high think clouds of the morning so I just went with it and ending up loving them more then what I had planned. Funny how that works.

If you love these or any images on my site feel free to contact me for a price quote on any size of print you want, as well as any questions you might have. I would love to talk to you. And if you have enjoyed this post or the images I have created, feel free to share I would appreciate it.

Waterlily #7

Most of my photographic life I have been told, “if you want to be shown choose any subject other than pets and flowers.” It seems that you are not taken seriously as an artist if you create images of flowers or pets. I don’t believe that to be true for the most part. Take, for instance, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Bouquet of Sunflowers by Claude Monet or Tuft of Cowslips by Albrecht Durer. A small portion of larger number of artist that at one time or another had flowers as a subject in their portfolio. “That’s paintings, what about photographs by famous photographers?” you might say. That one was a little tougher but here is what I found. Ansel Adams Rose on Driftwood, Imogen Cunningham Callla Lilly and Edward Weston Succulent. Three of the many photographers who had flowers as a subject matter. Some of these prints are still sought after by collectors today. So why are flowers as subjects of images so frowned upon? I think it is because it is so hard to create an image that, done well, is art whereas it’s very easy to create an image that can be labeled as trite.

If you look at what someone like Edward, or Imogen did you would see it, the flower, is a study of form and shape as well as how light defines that image. The drama of the greyscale and details the or comparison to a relating subject. It is study, an investigation of the subject to get a better understanding of how we feel or how it relates to us and our world. Now most of what I had seen for these three artists have been in black and white, not color. Color, for me, of a flower is a given is part of the subject that we all see form the start. Viewing the subject in black and white forces you to deal with the subject on a light and dark, shape and texture without the bias of the emotion of color. Take color out of the equation of any photograph and if you still have an image that grabs you then you a sound photograph.

Where flowers become trite is when the subject is treated as a sunset, all color with no real thought about form, shape, light or composition. A snapshot an afterthought that caught the photographers eye so they decided to take it. Then after a quick post processing show around to friends and say “ Look how pretty the colors are.”  This, I believe, is why the flower as a subject gets such a bad rap. The total disregard of the subject by so many people that the subject of a flower is tarnished for many people.

With that said I have a study of my waterlilies that I created over a summer season. These were in my pod that received shading from a large tree which created interesting patterns of light. I studied the light and how the shadows would fall on the flowers and when I found an interesting pattern I began to shoot. As spectacular as the color of the flower is, I found the images worked so well in black and white because of how the light played on the flower, leaves and pond.

I will be working on the rest of the photos taking them form color to black and white. I will have a set or a subset of color images only. I will also add more to this group as the season begins.

If you like these my images feel free to explore the rest of my webpage or check out my blog post on the side. Feel free to send me any comment or question you have or share my work with a friend that you’d believe would enjoy it. Thanks.