Dead flowers – photo sketches

Dead flowers fascinate me. The way that petals shrivel, wilt, curl up and fade gives them a whole different kind of beauty that also reminds somehow reminds us of the fragility of life. They’re a wonderful macro photography subject, and I recently spent some time photographing the petals of newly perished flowers to see what kind of images I could make.

I wanted to emphasize the shapes and textures of the dead flower heads, so I used a single light in an otherwise completely dark room to create strong lights and darks. I was actually using a Lumie light therapy light, which is a great alternative to a dedicated photography light because it’s super-bright. I played around with the position of the light to catch the elements of the petals that I wanted, and moved around to find the right angle for the composition. I took dozens of photos of two flower heads, just making sketch images to see what the light was doing and what kind of compositions worked. Great practice.

These were the two images that worked best, processed in black and white to emphasise the shapes and textures and the get the best balance between the light and shadow.

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