There is a flowering tree not far from our boat (a Hong Kong orchid, I am told) with a lovely fragrance. I love trees in general and I find myself returning to this one often. At certain times, the light falls on the flowers in a way that is irresistible.
So today I spent some time with the flowers, trying to capture a range of their gestures (placement of petals and stamens etc.) and experimenting to see how their colour changed depending on where the light fell on them.
I love listening to Jay Maisel talk about photography. He has forgotten more than I will probably ever know. The funny thing is that he speaks in such straightforward terms and makes it sound so easy, and when you look at his images, you can be fooled into thinking they are simple to make — that is, until you try to replicate one! He has some wonderful videos on You Tube (Google them!) and of course, his new book Light, Gesture, Colour is just excellent.
Many people snap away at flowers and are quite pleased with the results. I envy them. In my experience it’s not easy to take a good picture of a flower — at least one that satisfies me. The ratio of bad to good is quite high. Is that just me, or do you find that too?
Here are some of my favourite quotes from Jay Maisel. They inspire me to keep going and keep trying…
“We have always wanted to find the ‘it-ness’ of anything we shoot. We want to get as deep into the subject as we can.”
“You will, in time, see and show others not just the superficial, but the details, the meanings, and the implications of all that you look at …”
“What you’re shooting at doesn’t matter, the real question is: ‘Does it give you joy?’”
“Always shoot it now. It won’t be the same when you go back.” (That is oh so true!)
“The drama of light exists not only in what is in the light, but also in what is left dark. If the light is everywhere, the drama is gone.”
“If you’re not your own severest critic, you are your own worst enemy.”
But then, on the other hand…
“Remember that most people (those who are not photographers) don’t even see the things that you missed. Many don’t even look. Ergo, you are way ahead of the game.”
THANK YOU to all my readers…
I wish I could thank each and every one of you for your kind, thoughtful and insightful comments on this post. They made my day!
It looks like the weather is shaping up for us to leave to cross to the Bahamas on our sailboat very soon. So I need to turn my attention to other things right now and will probably be without Internet access for a bit.
I hope to see you on the other side!