Tag Archives: rose

Have You Seen This Powerful Display of Black and White Photographic Art?

Black and white photographic art remains as powerful today as any past era in photographic history. The crispness of duality cannot suffer any doubts and there is no greater duality than that of untainted black against the pure white.

It grabs the eye with a tenaciousness of a large dog locking its jaw on a favorite chew toy you are holding. It is an event you cannot help but notice not only through mere imagery but also tactile sensations.

Artistic photography is no different.  Once you see the results of artistic imagery founded in black and white you are permanently changed. The primordial dance between sterile whites, subtle grays and powerful blacks leave an impression on the soul that is not easily removed. It takes us to a special place in our thoughts that influence our emotions and response.

Rose Petals
Rose Petals

Indeed, this power to influence our internal emotions allow such an image as Rose Petals to reach into the very fabric of our being and calm our idealization of beautiful art. This is a rose that, devoid of color, does not lose any of power for expression on any level. On the contrary, this simple rose only gains the power of influence over our minds and hearts when its striped of color. The color of the rose no longer portrays an endless cycle of distraction from the lines, shades and integral power behind the image. It’s very soul is laid bare and we are the happier for it.

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The Birth of A Work of Photographic Art

A few weeks ago I did a post on the potential of photographic art using a before and after picture. The response was good enough to inspire me to do another.   So this week we will look at a before shot of a tea rose I captured in a garden one very hot, muggy, and sunny day.

Tea Rose Original
How can we improve this?



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As you can see, this is a nice shot of a tea rose. It also, unfortunately, looks like millions of other tea rose photographs. We want to change that. One of the ideas behind photographic art is the use of a picture as a canvas of sorts. We want to enhance the subject and give it the power that photography has as an art form.


As is right now, this photograph has some challenges we need to address. Namely, because of the bright sun, I used a photographic filter on the camera that works like a pair of sunglasses. The upside is this filter allows for more detail in bright light, the downside is that it mutes the colors.


I also want to bring out more detail. So visit us next week when I post the results of this tea rose and discover what type of artistic flair I will bring to the image.


In the meantime, form a mental image of what you think we can do with this rose.


Till next week!


The Texture Trap

Part of the beauty of a rose is the color.  But, the texture of a rose is often overlooked,  Through the use of black and white photography techniques we view this flower in yet another of its beautiful forms.

When dealing with composing a black and white picture for texture your adept to run into the issue of the texture trap. The trap is allowing the texture you are showcasing to completely dominate the picture. Texture is a needed element in any work of art, but too much texture can quickly turn the best masterpiece into a slurred mess of harmony and scale.

The old painting masters use to a sense of color coördination in their landscape masterpieces to give a sense of texture. The foreground would often be painted with close examination to detail to allow the viewer to place himself or herself in the picture.  A master would then paint a midground to present a color gradient to link the foreground to the background. That gradient is what gives the painting such a great sense of depth.

In photography we control this with depth of field.   That wonderful tool that allows the photographer to focus on the foreground in perfect clarity while allowing the camera to blur ever so slightly the midground and fully blurring the background. This depth of field allows us to control out textures by allowing us to simplify and unite the any complex textures into a smoother blended texture as the picture becomes more out of focus.  

One of the difficulties when dealing with texture in photography is that the relative size of the texture will often distort the sense of scale. When I was working on this rose I did not want the rough texture of the front petals to distract from the dramatic effect that the layering of the petals gives the shot.

Just like with the color, I also wanted to take a minimalist approach to size of the rose. Against the blackness of the background, the rose commands attention of the eye. It registers with your eyes and draws you to the center.   But this effect does not act alone to get the result I wanted.

The change in texture found on the rose itself helps draw the eye where I want it to go. The texture in the Rose picturefront and top of the rose is different from the back and bottom petals. Even though the rough texture remains relatively constant from front to back, the outside petals and fringe allows for the black background to hold the viewer’s attention to the rose.

By not having the rose so close and allowing this perceptual depth, I’m able to use the size of the background to hold the texture on the top petals of the rose in check.

Why would I want it in check? I just stated I was using the texture of the rose to draw the viewer’s eyes where I wanted them to go. This seems like a contradiction, but truly it is not. By minimizing the texture of the rose with the size of the background I don’t allow the texture to gain more influence than I want. I’m trying to use space to influence the texture. So the texture doesn’t dominate the scale in the picture like the result you would get by taking a closer macro shot.

As I continue to photograph more and more I am always astonished on how complex good composition easily becomes. The blending of the various elements to create a visual representation of what we wanted reality to be. Hopefully by watching your depth of field, you will avoid the texture trap of allowing to many textures from dominating your shots.


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Tea Rose: Most Popular Rose in the World

Tea Rose Morning is an example of the most popular rose flower in the world. Long the staple of florists, the tea rose produces the signature buds and flowers that people often reference when thinking of rose flowers.

The many petal wonders of a tea rose also produce a light scented fragrance that carries on the spring and summer air. These roses are known to bud and bloom singularly on a stem and not in a cluster like other roses. Gardeners and florists love them for their ability to produce flowers throughout the length of the growing season.

Often a rose will bloom, add its beauty to the world, and then die and be replaced by another on the same bush.   This allow for the greatest enjoyment of these rose bushed for the length of the season.

These roses do need some care though. Monitoring for disease on their leaves and watered regularly is Tea Rose Morningnecessary. Careful pruning of the plants before they bloom is also needed to keep the most air circulation around the leafs and buds to make sure a full harvest of flowers.

Further, in hot locations such as areas of Texas and the south, these flowers usually require mulch around its base to help make sure that the roots keep moisture and are kept cooler than the rest of the plant.

What fascinated me about this particular rose was the blending of the orange and light pinks in the petals.   It’s as if they took an orange and pink rose and blended them together to create a colorful start to a walk through the local rose garden. Truly this picture is a fashionable addition to your day.

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The Yellow Rose: A Friend of a Friend

A yellow rose is a very elegant gesture. As we know, contain a lot of symbolism have meaning according to their color. While earlier blog entries discussed this at leisure, the issue is that the colors of roses have more than one possible interpretation.

Let’s say you have a co-worker that, for lack of better wording, saved your job at the last staff meeting. Maybe this coworker took one for the team, or preformed an all night work session when everyone else abandoned the project. Regardless, this person deserves a little recognition.

Symbolism is important at this point. The problem is Yellow Rosethat this friend is a member of the opposite sex. Maybe a flower would be a nice touch. Oh, and yes, guys like getting flowers.   You want to convey your heartfelt friendship in a meaningful gesture but at the same time not send the kind of signals that would endear you to the office tabloid gossip makers for a month.

Red roses are most definitely out of the question. Even something like a pink rose is still a little too familiar and might seem romantic for this situation. A white rose is something you’d think of at a wedding, not a serious thanks for being a friend type event. The problem is a difficult one.

I draw your attention to the yellow rose. Yellow roses mean friendship. They’re considered a sign of happiness and thanks.   It’s the perfect answer to this thorny problem.

You manage to thank your friend in a proper and non-romantic way all the while maintaining the proper symbolism that what they did for you was an important event. It’s definitely a win-win situation.

Of course, the advantage to my yellow rose above is that as a work of art, it will never die. It’s the perfect statement of friendship to hang in an office or at home.

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