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Photographing Flowers And Making Art

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A Rose By Any Other Name

Here’s a very simple image, made in the grounds of a winery in the Yarra Valley not far from Melbourne, Australia. The image was made with a Canon 5D camera and Canon 180 mm f/3.5 Macro lens

Raindrops On Roses

Despite the simplicity of this photo it’s composed of a range of quite different elements, some obvious, others less so. Let’s look at the individual elements that underpinning this image.

  • It features a flower, which happens to be a rose
  • Water droplets have settled, temporarily, on the rose
  • The rose displays a reddish Hue (i.e., color)
  • The color of the rose is relatively high in saturation (i.e., purity of color)
  • It’s a close-up photograph that utilizes a shallow depth of field (DOF) to visually separate the rose from its surroundings

That’s already five rather unique elements associated with this image, without even exploring the title which is a pretty obvious reference to the song My Favorite Things from the motion picture film The Sound of Music.

Moving Beyond The Object

Now for the more powerful elements being explored in this image.

What might the raindrop on the rose indicate to you? Such delicate beauty only lasts a few short moments. One moment the raindrop comes into contact with the flower, the next it’s gone. Might that suggest both the beauty and transient nature of our natural world and, by implication, our own existence?

There is life within every flower and a world within every raindrop. It’s during those fleeting moments, when the two come together, that the nature of existence is revealed. We are connected to each other and to the natural world. 

By concentrating our attention on the more simple aspects of everyday life we’re better able to block out so many of the distractions that surround us. This will enhance our focus and lead to insights as to the nature of our true reality and our life’s purpose. To begin the search for such inner truths we would all do well to, dare I say, “stop and smell the roses”. 

How Can This Help You Make Better Photos?

By keeping the subject matter of your photographs simple and their compositions uncluttered, it’s easier for the viewer to connect with them. The importance of simplicity within our complicated world cannot be understated. With the initial connection made the technical, aesthetic and spiritual aspects in our images will emerge.

Likewise we should never forget the power of metaphor and symbolism to elicit an emotive response and to trigger deep and profound connections with what lies beyond our normal, everyday experience.

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