Common Photographic Themes: Flowers

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Spring is in the air, and the flowers are starting to bloom (well, at least here in the northern hemisphere).  I love spring because we finally get to be comfortable outside.  It’s not too hot, not too cold, and people are starting to get out and get active.  Street photographers love the spring and summer months.  But the most appealing aspect of the Spring season has got to be the new vegetation and flowers.  Flowers are always among our most favorite of close-up subjects.  No two are exactly alike, they are full of vibrant colors, and they make for interesting and patient subjects.  And so we turn to the [email protected] Group to see just what our faithful readers and contributors can come up with.  I’m sure you will be inspired to grab your camera and get outside from this lot:

“Spring Is Coming” by Djura Stankovic

"Spring Is Coming" by Djura Stankovic

"Spring Is Coming" by Djura Stankovic

First of all, Djura’s photo, Spring is Coming, is a spot-on mood setter.  You can’t look at this photograph and feel angry.  That is part of the emotion of spring, of course.  And Djura captured it well through the close-up framing and the use of the depth of field.  It’s a deep enough depth of field that allows you to see just a few layers of the flowers.  But not so deep that you can actually comprehend the background.  And speaking of background, how about that bokeh?  Bokeh is perfect for a shot like this.  It’s silky smooth blending of colors really sets a nice backdrop for the real subject:  These beautiful flowers.

“Fiddleheads” by David Clark

"Fiddleheads" by David Clark

"Fiddleheads" by David Clark

Not all plants are traditionally thought of as beautiful.  Thankfully, there are photographers like David Clark to show us the beauty behind some of the most abundant plants.  Fiddleheads is a study of the early days of the life of a fern.  No, it’s not technically a flower.  But a fern’s fiddleheads are equally as beautiful if caught at the right time.  I love that David got real low for this shot.  He has provided some context for the fiddleheads, and perhaps a little sense of scale with the leaves shown.  Not to mention you are close-enough to count all of the hairs on each little fiddlehead.  With such a precise close-up shot like this, we’ll bend the rules a bit and count David’s shot as a “flower”.

“Weathered Tulip” by Jonathan Goforth

"Weathered Tulip" by Jonathan Goforth

"Weathered Tulip" by Jonathan Goforth

Sometimes, our subjects aren’t as perfect as we’d like them to be. But that’s no matter, sometimes damaged subjects are far more interesting than the untarnished.  Jonathan Goforth selected such an unfortunate subject with his photo, Weathered Tulip.  This poor flower’s petals are drooping and threatening to fall off.  It’s been battered by the wind and rain.  But what an awesome subject we have in that which isn’t perfect.  With the bokeh-filled background – in soft, subtle and complimentary colors I might a – this flower, water droplets and all, really pops out at us.  In fact, we’re all used to such imperfection in our own lives that it may take you a while to really comprehend the damage that is in this flower.  It looks so beautiful, one mgiht forget about it’s flaws.

“Spring Buds” by Sue Thompson

"Spring Buds" by Sue Thompson

"Spring Buds" by Sue Thompson

It’s always a pleasure to share one of Sue’s works.  She has such a natural feeling when it comes to close-up photography.  Here we have Spring Buds, a photograph that captures the dreamy feeling we all have (or should have) when spring comes.  I don’t know if it’s a bokeh of the surroundings or if Sue used a reverse-vignette effect in post, but the lighter corners and edges help to create that dream-like mood.  The depth of field is incredibly narrow, so narrow that only a small portion of the flower is actually in focus.  And I love that as hides all of the impurities around the flower.  All colors are soft, and our mind is permitted to drift off to that peaceful place we call spring.

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About Author

D. Travis North is a professional Landscape Architect, a Freelance Photographer and founder of Shutter Photo. Ever since he picked up his first SLR, his father's Nikon N2000, he's been hooked on photography. Travis likes to photograph urban environments, architectural details and has a new-found interest in close-up photography. His work can be found at D. Travis North Photography. Follow Travis on twitter: @dtnorth.

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