Blowing in the Wind

I’ve talked—and written—about designing a structure behind an apparently free-form image. With flower photography on a light box, possible forms this structure can take include a bouquet, a garden patch of upright flowers, and a mandala, to name a few compositional ideas.

Blowing in the Wind © Harold Davis

With Blowing in the Wind (above) I decided to try a variant of the garden of flowers. Using an underlying grid made up of two-week irises (Dietes, also called “Fortnite Lily” and “African Iris”), I curved the structure to the right, as though the garden patch were in fact blowing in the wind.

If you are interested, the two-week iris has its informal name because it seems to bloom every two weeks. A clump of these flowers grow essentially wild in my garden with very little tending; in fact, all the blossoms in this series of images are straight from my garden.

I’ve tried to make the flowers in a light box arrangement appear to be responding to a strong wind before, but it is not my most common approach. For example, this star magnolia is similarly arranged to appear to be bending in the wind, as flowers in the great outdoors do, and so in their own way are the flowers partying in Flowers Party Too!

Triumph of Beauty over Despair © Harold Davis

In recent times, I’ve taken advantage of my existing arrangements to hone in on relatively small sections of the composition. Fresh flowers from the garden have a short half life, and I feel better about taking the life of the blossom for photography more than once. I’ve called this secondary kind of work Artfully Random. It’s discussed in more detail here, and you can also view my album of Artfully Random images on Flickr.

Triumph of Beauty over Despair (above) follows the Artfully Random playbook, with a twist: the underlying, orderly grid structure created by the stems of the two-week lilies clearly organizes the image, so it’s not really about randomness in any sense.

Let the Flowers Fall © Harold Davis

The final image in this series, Let the Flowers Fall (above), adheres more clearly to the Artfully Random paradigm. With this image, my thought was to make the blossom appear to be falling, particularly the red poppies on top and right sides. In this way, I tried to echo Yosemite’s famous fire fall of yesteryear, as seen these days in the scene at Horsetail Falls.

Check out my upcoming “garden” of postage stamps.

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