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Friday, February 6, 2015

Explosions of Colour

A local woman is establishing an import business for exceptional and exotic flowers & blossoms and contracted me to create some images for her web site & BLOG to promote the new venture. I arrived at her location to find virtual mountains of flowers in a riot of colours. Her space was jammed with huge collections in rich, saturated colours that only nature produces the best.

The delicate blossoms & petals offer the challenge to use light to define the textures and colours and illustrate the drama of their structures.

A few were white or seemingly translucent so the delicate textures become the prominent feature.

My goal was to be able to illustrate the beauty and fragile structure that was unique to each different type of blossom, but to also include the drama and impact of a larger grouping of the same flower.

Colour like this, in these quantities, just smacks you in the face. Some were so saturated they almost seemed 'tasty' and edible. 

Throughout my career I have been hugely influenced by the work of Master photographer Irving Penn. He has been a major interest in my learning and appreciation of the use of light in images. I truly feel that most photographers that light their subjects and design and control the use of light in their photographs have been influenced by Penn, whether they're aware of it, or not.

Penn was one of the true greats of the photography world for decades. I have referred to him as the "Rembrandt of the 20th Century" in my classes. And I am lucky to own an original Penn print from his Worlds In A Small Room series he did for Vogue magazine in the 60s & 70s. He has kinda been my mentor in absentia and from a distance throughout my career.  I just never got to let him know that.

While Pen was so well known for his unique portraits and fashion work, and eye-catching and ground breaking still life images he also worked throughout the years on a series of flower shots that seem practically three dimensional with his lighting and design on the printed page.

Flowers and the wonderful delicate structures of nature can provide a photographer with great challenges and stunning rewards.

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