I Dance with Flowers.
I love getting up close and personal with nature, especially flowers. ‘Macro’ photography refers to taking pictures of small things at close range in which the image appears at least as large as it does in reality. In my studio I have a process that I call ‘The Dance,’ an intimate relationship that develops between me and my subject.
‘The Dance’ begins with a single flower – finding just the right flower, one that has something special to share. Not all do and even the ones that do, do so when they are damned good and ready and not a minute before – if at all! I usually dance at night, when I can set up the flower in a bud vase, with a black cloth backdrop. I set up my camera with macro lens, turn off all the lights in the room, put on some quiet classical or new age relaxing (boring but soothing) music, switch on a small penlight led light and move it around ‘behind’ the flower, looking thru the lens ‘live’ to watch how the light and color shift with each slight movement of my hand/light. I always light from behind so the flower can show me, from the inside, what needs to be revealed.
When shooting in the dark with only a small handheld penlight, it requires very long exposures, which requires a great tripod and a lot of patience. The beauty of this time lapse is the opportunities I have to move the light around over 30 to 60 seconds, accentuating each crevice and crease. I see the result, re shoot either from a different angle or slightly different hand movements of the light. This is ‘The Dance.’ Music, a beautiful flower, foot petals for lights in various spots I’ve set up behind the flower and long moments to feel the magic.
I dig – I mean I realllly dig into each flower, moving my lens under and around from every conceivable angle, often shooting only a 1/16″ of the flower. I usually shoot 200-300 images to get just the ‘right’ image. This is what keeps you coming back – like a golfer, that ‘one’ shot.
It’s not uncommon for me to spend hours on one flower, many times not getting one decent shot. I never throw out – I leave it in the bud vase. Over the next few weeks, as it ages, often reveals a special beauty that usually goes unnoticed. In fact, I find color intensifies with age and there is a dignity and grace with age.
This ‘dance’ may seem strange, but I can’t find a better description of this relationship. I guess you might call it passion, in motion. Thank you for allowing me to share my passion with you.
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