Posts tagged ‘flower’

Three vessels and a tulip

Three vessels and a tulip

This is the result of my third session making a still-life image.

Yesterday morning my wife and I visited The Curiosity Centre in Dorset. A large warehouse selling second hand furniture, collectables and what can only be termed as bric-a-brac. I was looking for some items which I thought would lend themselves to a still-life composition. I found three pewter vessels which I manged to buy for the princely sum of £10. I liked their simple design, rustic nature, patina and marks. I bought a bunch of tulips for my wife to enjoy but pinched one bloom for the photograph!

I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon creating a basic setup. Nothing elaborate. I used the natural light from a side window and a head torch. I changed the composition many times and tried different lenses and aperture settings until I had a selction I could download into Lightroom for further assesment.

My chosen image was processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro II. I like the square crop and the warm tone was added in LR to complete the workflow.

I find this genre of photography most appealing, so I will definitely be on the lookout for more items to help make suitable compositions. In the process I am sure my compositions and understanding of light will improve, as I refine my approach to still-life photography.

Do click on the image to view a larger version.




Agapanthus – simply beautiful



In a break from my usual black and white photographs, I couldn’t resist posting this image of some flowers in our garden. I don’t profess to be a gardener but these plants are quite stunning and have given my wife and I a great deal of pleasure this year.

Agapanthus are an architectural plant originating from South Africa. These are growing in three pots on an area of decking immediately outside our living room. Without a great deal of care, they have produced forty stems, each about two to three feet long, topped with a ‘ball’ of intensely coloured flowers. They have such a long season of interest, from the moment the first stems start to appear, through to when their attractive seed heads form later in the year.

Simply beautiful and without question one of my favourite plants.

For those who are interested in the technical details, this photograph was taken with a Leica M9P and 35mm Summilux lens. It was shot at f2.0, 1/3000 sec at ISO 160. Cropped and with some processing in Lightroom, but the colours are just as the CCD sensor recorded them.

Roses by the window – inspired by Josef Sudek

Recently I came across an image I had taken back in 2014 of a bunch of roses in a vase. They were on a window sill with rain drops on the window glass. I remember taking the shot with a large aperture opening to give me a narrow depth of field. Only one rose is truly in focus, so the overall effect is quite soft, but this works for me.


Roses by the window


When making this image I was reminded and influenced by the work by Josef Sudek. I particularly enjoy and admire his photography and his creative use of light in an image. A Czech photographer, he was born in 1896 and spent most of his life in Prague. He died in 1976. A year or so ago I was given a book of his work called ‘ Josef Sudek – Legacy of a Deeper Vision’. A beautifully produced book with many fine plates of his photography. (See a picture of the front cover below).





I was first drawn to his work when I saw his pictures of St Vitus Cathedral in Prague and later I enjoyed a series of photographs taken from the inside his studio which he called ‘The Window of my Atelier’. Condensation on the inside of the window or rain drops on the outside would often be a feature of this work. He would also make images of simple objects he had in his studio, an empty glass, an egg or a small vase of flowers. They were sometimes placed on a window sill and making the most of the light he would produce some very effective and almost ‘poetic’ photographs. He unquestionably made the best use of his immediate surroundings.

I have included a pictures of a couple of plates from the book, by way of examples of his work.






I seem to be spending a fair amount of time at the moment considering a variety of projects which I think could prove interesting. I already have my Churches Project underway and this will continue, but there are a number of others that could well occupy my time in the months ahead. As part of this period of consideration and planning, I like to study the work of other artists and photographers. This can be beneficial in a number of ways. It can certainly inspire, influence and be thought provoking; all of which can only aid creativity and help define the path ahead.

From all of this it would appear my approach to photography is going through a contemplative stage. I believe it’s all part of an ongoing process which aids the development of your own style and vision. What might be a good idea today, is often challenged by a counter thought the next – and so the process unfolds until the original concept is either scrapped or possibly pursued to a conclusion. With nothing decided it can be a little frustrating at times, particularly when the outlook is less than clear, but ultimately I think the results of this planning stage will prove rewarding.

You can see more of Sudek’s photographs by clicking on this link to my Pinterest board of his work