With the surprising successes of my first serious attempt at
photographing flowers, Joy began searching
Moncton for a source of orchids which could be pressed into modeling
service. As it turned out, one of the local building and home renovation
stores carried them and late one afternoon, Joy came proudly in the door, carrying the next model for me to photograph.
It was surprisingly different photographing the second orchid -
with the first, there was the naivety that came with working with a new
subject; anything was possible, and the successes, as they came, were
both surprising and wonderful to behold. In contrast, with the second
flower I knew I could make strong images, and the fluid, almost magical
process of photographing the first flower was replaced with a much
longer session, trying to take the same approach as I'd first used (shallow
depth of field, and very close compositions), while avoiding repeating
the same compositions with the second orchid. In the end, I did make a
number of very pleasing images, but the spark of the first session
seemed to be missing. This could be because of the stronger colours of
the second flower (I think part of what I responded to with the first
flower was the delicate white of the petals), or simply because I was
trying to hard with the second flower, but for whatever reason, I think
the second session went astray of what initially had caught my eye.
Having worked with a single subject for so long (I've worked
with the nude for more than eighteen years now), I think I'd forgotten
how difficult and challenging it can be to find a subject that engages
the eye, but challenges the lens. With flowers, I can see the potential
they hold, but it would seem harder than I'd expected to reveal that
potential. I hope over the rest of the winter, and into the spring, to
be able to spend more time working with these fascinating and elusive
forms, and begin to take the spark that caught my eye and translate it
into the visual image.
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