“The one who sees is involved – the one who looks is not” – Freeman Patterson
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“By grade 3 or 4 we stop visualizing things freely, put word-labels on them instead. By these labels we recognize everything, no longer see anything. We know the labels on the bottles, but never taste the wine” – Frederick Frank
“An adult of 40 is about 2 percent as creative as a child of 5” – Business World Magazine
We all like to ‘look’ at the beauty of nature, but what we ‘see’ is a different story. Flowers are a top-ranking subject, for most of us – and for photographers. Unfortunately we often can’t break free of stereotype approaches – in full bloom, pretty picture, from the top, the whole flower with surrounding area, in colour, …etc. I picked some older shots from my archives, hoping to show different approaches. (there are more in some earlier posts under different titles, which I don’t want to use here again, e.g. B&W, Blue Garden) Why always show the whole flower? Why not get closer, more and more loosing it’s identity, concentrating on shape, line texture…etc? – abstracting, one, if not THE expressive quality in visual art. Why always the documentary approach, as in botany books for identification? Why not go low, viewing from the side, or even from underneath? Its called meadow diving. Why always sharp and in focus? Why not play with your aperture and depth of field – just one pollen pod sharp and the rest blurry? Why not in B&W? Why not wilted, wrinkled, with the nice textures and subdued coloures of decay? (see post ‘Emerged from the Cold’) One of the above is not even a photograph – its done on a flatbed scanner with a dark shoebox overtop. Shoot through a piece of glass smeared with vaseline for a soft, glowing effect… As always, the goal is to experiment, to loose preconceived ways, to thumb your nose at stereotype approaches – and, in the process, enhance your experience of the world around you.
Klaus Rossler © copyright 2011
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