February 16, 2006

An Orchid

Digital original
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.
Digital original
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.
Digital original

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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