Flowers have become something of a side-passion for me. Not to the point that I am actually interested in acquiring a green thumb and planting them but more as an academic exercise in composition and technique. The more I work with flowers, the more engrossed I become with the difficulty of making images of them that aren't just "pretty photographs".
The biggest issue of the day was the sunlight - the afternoon was bright and sunny, so I found myself either working in the shade or using my diffuser to shade the plants. I could have worked in the sunlight but I have such a strong aversion to the strong contrast that this gives. I prefer the richness of detail possible on a cloudy, overcast day.
|Digital infrared original|
Probably the most interesting element of working with the flowers is how much higher the bar is for perfection; with models, I often have to accept small technical flaws in favour of the perfect expression or pose but, with flowers, I can keep photographing until everything is as perfect as possible. For each composition I made in the gardens, I suspect I recorded more than a dozen separate exposures; in the end, after the couple of hours I worked in the gardens, I kept slightly more than twenty images of the three hundred or more I made. Shooting digitally, I had the freedom to experiment without worrying about material costs.