Glow in the forest

November 25, 2012  •  2 Comments

Sometimes what I see on the camera's screen simply surprises me, enough to wonder what alien device I'm holding that it perceives what's right in front of both of us so differently.  Many times that surprise leads to a more thoughtful examination of just what am I seeing.

Shadow Blooms This image was made on a cloudy, slightly rainy day right on the edge of the woods.  I liked how the flowers were bright against the dark background so I composed this and pushed the shutter.  How amazing to see on the back of the camera these glowing pieces of spring jumping out at me.  I liked the intensity of the composition.  Then when I experimented with turning it into black and white, the combination of flowers and leaves against the darker setting was almost three dimensional.

What drew my attention to this scene initially was the light color of the flowers and I knew that could be a prominent part of the image but I was very taken aback with the leaves.  Their soft light against the deep background.  Their smooth surface, some dotted with raindrops.  The way their veins dimpled the surface to show just a little shadow and relief.  It's an image that helps me realize the beauty black and white photographers talk about when an images is stripped of color and relies only on the shades of grey to produce the appropriate shapes and luminosity.

Through the years I've looked at photographs the appeal of grey shades has eluded me but I realize now I was simply bemoaning the lack of color and ignoring the subject shape and textures offered by this way of creating images.  I'm understanding how it distills to the essence of the subject, forcing the photographer to pay attention to the details that make or break wonderful images and not hiding lazy technique behind vibrant colors.  This is an OK image of white flowers on what is essentially a sea of green, the original contrast that caught my attention.  But now I see it as a true subject standing out from the blurred background and taking center stage for the viewer to admire and examine.

And what else but that could have been the intent of those giants of photography all those decades ago?


Comments

2.Mel Mann Photography
I agree and that's what got me excited when I saw the image. For me it's an example of how post-processing digital images can really make or break the final look but you have to start with a good exposure and composition.
1.Pat(non-registered)
This is lovely. The honeysuckle branch really stands out against that dark background.
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