Flowers stand at the core of my fine artistry; they’re the heart of my work. I’ve long been enamored with still life art, finding profound inspiration in the works of artists like Giorgio Morandi and the timeless brilliance of the Dutch Masters, or Caravaggio’s ‘Basket of Fruit.’ Capturing flowers artistically isn’t a simple task. While macro and botany photography dominate this realm, standing out requires understanding how to infuse artistry into flower photography.
Delving into the world of flowers, including plants, fruits, and leaves, offers vast possibilities and control for those, like myself, who deeply explore this subject. This absolute control allows for a meditative approach, essential in extracting the artistic essence from flowers that might otherwise remain confined within macro or botany realms, or risk banality.
Begin by considering the impact of a white background for high-key photography or a black background for low-key photography. Examine the contrasting styles of Mapplethorpe and Irving Penn’s flowers, or explore Kate Scott Studio’s floral portfolio each showcasing unique aesthetic approaches—some using scanners instead of cameras.
Cultivate an aesthetic sensibility by studying and aligning with artists who resonate with you. Emulate their light, composition, and atmosphere to refine your skills. It’s a meticulous process, marked by trial, error, and the eventual reward of aesthetic maturity. Embrace mistakes as a crucial part of your learning journey.
Consider the emotional impact of white versus black backgrounds and whether you’re crafting a composition or focusing on a single flower. Compositional nuances, as observed in the works of Dutch Masters like Willem van Aelst, are vital. Opt for imperfect, mature flowers for a more compelling presence.
For single flowers, meticulous consideration of shape and photographic composition is key. Should you wish to venture into still life photography with glass, select an exquisite vase and manage reflections with curtains or panels to achieve pleasing effects.
Deciding between film or digital, color or black and white, marks another crucial step. Film captures depth and mineral blacks, often requiring manual printing and scanning. Digital provides immediacy but doesn’t negate the charm of black and white or color. Embrace both for their distinct merits. Here’s to capturing joyful shots