February 07, 2006

An Interesting Morning


Digital original

One of the most common axioms in photography is "always have your camera with you"; it is certainly something I suggest when I teach photography but, in reality, I must confess it is something I seldom do, primarily because of how I approach photography, not because it is something I don't believe will improve most people's imagery. On this particular morning, however, I was visiting a friend's house to photograph an antique piano that she was selling, so I had my camera along. My clear intention in having the camera there was to document her piano for potential buyers but then I saw the orchid sitting by the window.
Digital original
Flowers certainly have a long tradition as the focus of photography but, with a few exceptions, have never captured my eye. With this orchid, however, there was something in the contrast between the white petals and purple centre that really drew me in.
Digital original

Working with a set of extension tubes and my 105mm lens, I managed to make a whole series of macro images of the flower that really piqued my interest. The shallow depth of field, combined with the beautiful lines and flow of the flower really engaged me and, similar to my Thalamus images from several years ago, these two elements together combine to produce a very pleasing result.
Given how slow the winter months are for me, I suspect the orchid photos could be the doorway to a whole body of work; several people have assured me there are thousands of varieties of these flowers so there is certainly no lack of subjects. It is just the case of finding them and working out the process to build on this session's discoveries!

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