Tag Archives: passion

How We Took A Flower From Ordinary To Extraordinary

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

Tea Rose Original
How can we improve this?

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.

Pink Petal Tea Rose
Passion and Punch always work together.

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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A Podcast Worth Watching


I listen and watch podcasts to give my brain with another way of learning about the latest trends and reviews in photography.  When I find a podcast that helps me view photography as an art I want to share it.    For this reason, I want to refer you to a photographer that runs a podcast worth listening to. The Art of Photography http://theartofphotography.tv/  is a podcast run by Ted Forbes.  He also provides some technical expertise when it comes to photography but that is not his main purpose in making the podcast.  I find his podcast worth watching and mentioning for two reasons.  Mr. Forbes has a great deal of passion and historical knowledge of his subject.


Mr. Forbes displays a passion for the art that draws the viewer past the technical and into the creative. He often discusses what it means being a photographer and how to become a better one.  Currently, the podcast is concentrating on a series of learning from the masters of painting and photography.  He selected some of the earlier master photographers and is showing how they copied the composition techniques of the great painting masters in art history.  It is a very well done and thought out series.


The second reason for watching is that he isn’t an actor.  The information he shares is coming from his knowledge of the subject and his love of sharing the art side of photography.  He is teaching, not preaching. I look forward to hearing his podcasts as they help me continue to learn some composition of art history and it’s relevance to the world of photography.


I guess this is the part where I say that I’ve never met Mr. Forbes.  However, as a photographic artist I find what he has to say interesting and worth watching.

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!