Inspiration: Flowers

When I first started photography, I made pictures of nearly everything around me. Some subjects I quickly left off (people, vehicles, sports), others I visit now and again (buildings, animals, landscapes). Some, however, endure: glass, reflections, anything a bit abstract, and flowers.

I’m not an ARAT (another rock another tree) photographer, but I could easily turn into an ABF (another bloomin’ flower) one if I didn’t have other things I wanted to do with photography. However, every photograph I make and edit is one more experience with the gear and the software. I gives me the chance to play around with settings and filters that I don’t use in my normal product or art work.

When spring rolls around, I make pictures of flowers if they get my attention, and believe me, plenty do. After the grays and browns of winter, pinks, yellows, blues, and greens pop up like beacons make me swing my head about saying “look here! look there!” I inevitably run for my camera and make some exposures. Here are a few I’ve done this week:

A branch of pink blossoms in front of a pale blue sky

Redbud (pale)

A branch of dense magenta blossoms in front of a vivid aqua sky

Redbud (vivid)

The redbud (a volunteer in our backyard) bloomed for the first time this year. It has magenta/pink blossoms which stand out against a clear blue sky. When I looked at these in Lightroom, I realized that the composition and color reminded me of gardening and flower-arranging books from the mid-20th century, so I worked the color of the sky to reinforce that feeling.

A branch with a cluster of pink viburnum flowers at the end of it. The flowers are not open. The sky is dark blue.

Viburnum (vivid)

A somewhat desaturated group of viburnum clusters, one cluster is in focus and the rest are blurry. The flowers are open and white with pink edges.

Viburnum (moody)

I love viburnum flowers, but I’m allergic to them. They smell so wonderful and I get an intense headache when I breathe it in. I don’t mind, though, because it doesn’t last too long.

Close-up on 4 bleeding heart flowers along a branch. The image is beige in the light areas and blue in the dark areas.

Bleeding Heart (split)

A stem of bleeding heart flowers in fuchsia and white gracefully drapes from right to left in the image. The flowers have small droplets on them.

Bleeding Heart (delicate)

We are fortunate to have a bleeding heart that is happy. It’s spread quite a bit over the years, and never fails to bloom. The flowers are so delicate and sensual, I feel like I’m photographic something erotic.

Sometimes practice is about, well, practicing. And just because it’s easy practice, doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. Making pictures like this makes me happy; being able to share them makes me happier.