Photography-Flowers and Backgrounds

Two yellow flowers, two different backgrounds.

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Botanic Gardens-2

With the summer days quickly flying by, I decided to visit the Chicago Botanic Gardens to photograph flowers. My focus was to isolate a flower and pay attention to background. At the time of capture I honestly had nothing in mind in choosing a background. But, after reviewing, discovered color can really impact the mood of an image especially when photographing flowers…two yellow flowers, two different backgrounds evoke two different moods.

Flower Photography – Narrowing the Focus

Lily - On the Inside

After taking a hiatus from photo shoots to learn and get comfortable with a new camera and lenses, I decided to take a new approach to my flower photography. My process has always been to find an interesting flower against a relatively good background and shoot it with a variety of lenses; wide, telephoto, macro, Lensbaby. My thinking is, a beautiful flower speaks for itself. Not too much thought or creativity goes into this process. Consequently, many of my flower photographs look like many of the photographs taken by everybody else.

For Easter someone brought me a Lily plant. Given spring is still fleeting here in Chicagoland (might snow this weekend), I decided to place the plant on a patio table and see what I could come up with creatively. Not too many ways to shoot a single lily. I kept focusing on what is the most interesting thing about this lily. This is what I came up with.

The photograph taken above was not cropped. The subject was shot as is. So this year, I’ve decided to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and photograph only a portion of every flower I shoot. I believe it is going to be “easier said than done”! But if nothing else, I am hoping to learn a lot, and it will definitely be interesting!!

The photo below was taken a few years ago.

Pansy - showing off

 

Creative Photography – Fun with Daisies

Reflective Daisies WP

“You use a mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul”, George Bernard Shaw. 

The Chicago Botanic Gardens offered an abstract photography class. I didn’t take the class because I am particularly fond of abstract photography, I enrolled because I had heard that the class material challenged students to look at the subject matter from a different perspective and creatively shoot.

The photograph above of two placed daisies was shot on a piece of mylar film. 

f/7.1; 1/80; ISO 800.

Comments are always welcome.

Photography – Calla Lilies – Rain Drops

Cali (1 of 1)-vinette-Edit-Edit (2)

“Time itself comes in drops.”  William James – f/8; 1/320; ISO 400.


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The sturdy calla lily petals with their smooth and graceful curves are the perfect subject to shoot water drops. The water drops display a nice variety of shapes and sizes without dripping into the center of the flower.  

These calla lilies where placed in a vase and set on my patio table two feet in front of an evergreen which made the background very easy to darken. f/8; 1/60; ISO 400. 

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Travel Photography – Venice – Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs - Venice

“We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.”
Khalil Gibran

Venice is one my favorite cities. The people are charming, and I enjoy the hustle and bustle of activity in the canals and the architecture. The Bridge of Sighs, shown above, connects Doges Palace and a prison. It was designed by Antonio Contino and was built in 1600. It took two years to complete. The bridge allowed prisoners to get their last look at freedom in Venice, and it is rumored many would sigh while passing through the bridge…thus the name.

f/14; 1/80; ISO 200; 34mm

Comments are always welcome.