It’s Dahlia time. There’s just something about Dahlias that is perhaps equalled only by Rudbeckias. Put either of those two flowers with a Lensbaby and it has to be a winner.
This particular Dahlia bloomed in my garden a couple of days ago and by the time it was fully open, the curly petals were gorgeous. I wanted to capture that swirly, delicate nature of the bloom and what better tool to do that with than a Lensbaby Composer Pro II with a Sweet 50 optic. I also got to thinking about Ted Grant’s statement that goes something like this:
“When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”
Now he is clearly talking about people – but when you photograph a single flower, I think you approach it in pretty much the same way as you would for a head and shoulders portrait. Ted Grant thought that to photograph people in colour would mean that those colours would draw the eyes away from the essence of the person: we would look at the colours rather than scrutinising the character that lies in the finer features of the person’s face. I decided to give it a go with this particular shot to see if it worked and I certainly noticed that once I had stripped the colour, my eye was drawn first to the contours of the petals which is, I think, what gives this flower its character. If the colour is there, I am drawn straight away to the streaks of deep pink leading to the bright yellow centre and only then, maybe to the outer countours.
So, in the end, I have the unprocessed version, which I like – the processed version with a few tweaks and a little bit of texture added, which I like – and a black and white version, which I like! So, that’s takes me to the next dilemma of deciding which version is the ‘final’ one. Well, I guess that decides on whoever may be looking at it.
And that’s art for you 🙂
As a final word, if you like this kind of dreamy, soft focus effect on flowers, you really should google Kathleen Clemons and take a look at her work. Stunning!!
The Black and White Version
The Unprocessed Version (processed only to convert raw to jpeg)
The Colour Version with added texture (processed in Topaz Texture Effects 2)