I’ve been struck on a number of occasions how the same elements in a scene interest me photographically, even after a gap of many years. Returning to a mountainside in the Sierra Nevada, a canyon in Zion, or the streets of Paris, without conscious intention I focus on the same cliff, tree, or urban detail as when I last visited. Maybe the underlying idea is slightly different, and one can certainly hope the execution has improved over the intervening time. But it is odd to see one’s default perceptual mode as a kind of iterative repetition. And now I see the same thing happens with still life composition.
A case in point is Sunflowers and Friends 2, shown above. I assembled this light box still life over the weekend, using elements I had to hand—mostly sunflowers and irises. I gave little thought to past or future, and mostly in a kind of trance-like state. This creative way of being is sometimes called “being in the zone.”
Imagine my surprise when memory and sense of my surroundings returned to me, and I discovered some similarity in subject and composition to Sunflowers and Friends, made in August of this year and shown below, and even the much earlier Flowers from My Garden, made in 2012 and shown far below. I think the three images (shown together above) would make a nice grouping of prints!