As I mentioned last week, we are looking to take this photo of a typical tea rose and turn it into something fabulous. It is a good photo with the subject clearly
defined and focused. But, it looks like thousands of other photographs of a tea rose.
Artistic is not really a word I would use to describe it as much as ordinary. Ordinary is not bad, but we are making art here! Yet, it does have some artistic value. Centered in the shot, the rose falls in line with the traditional rule of thirds. However, there is too much space on the outside of the rose.
If you look at the white of the rose and the dirty white in the background you’ll discover that the rose tends to disappear into the background. If it wasn’t for the reddish tint on the tips of the petals, one might not even realize it is there. That is not good. The answer is to crop the picture so that the flower becomes more focused as the one and only item for the viewer’s perusal.
Next, we need to create a mood for the picture. Since the subject is a flower, we can easily follow one of two routes for creating this mood. We can soften the flower by blurring it. This will give the flower a dreamy like quality. Doing this kind of visualization reminds me of the Hallmark cards you see for sick people or weddings. In my opinion this is best done with a color photograph.
Or we choose the second mystical mood creator known in art as visual punch. This choosing of one technique over another, probably more than anywhere, is where the visual message of the artist gets to be expressed in photographic art. It’s a choice. You must factor in different element of the picture to make your choice wisely. Personally, I’m thinking this flower needs visual punch. Punch is power.
The reasoning behind this decision is the color of the flower. Since the shot happened during the mid afternoon with the harsh sunlight moving in and out of the clouds, I used a UV filter to act as a sort of sunglasses. I don’t like the amount of color I had to lose to make sure I capture the detail in the flower. Therefore, I chose the visual punch of a black and white image.
Further, the shot just doesn’t seem romantic and “soft” to me. However, flowers always show a certain sense of passion and passion is power. So, we have passion and visual punch able to combine into a true statement. My vision of what route to take when creating this work is now complete. Now we just need to visually bring it to life.
Since there is no color to attract the eye, we can only use the shading naturally provided by the sun and the colors as they turn from various colors to numerous shades of blackness. The result is a powerful visual image.
The flower is actually enhanced in its detail by losing the color and the cropping helps bring out the graininess of the flowers leaves. The result is a powerful combination of light and dark, grainy and smoothness that will look good whether framed or printed on canvas.
We go from ordinary to extraordinary.
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