Living with your subject

Obviously for the likes of Bailey or Penn this would be a post about the other half but for me it's about how the flowers I photograph live and die in the time it takes me to get a good image. Mostly I am delighted when I achieve a good picture from a bunch of flowers but just once in a while I manage to capture several, here is an example.

This is a Ranunculus in full bloom, which I really like, happy days. So I worked it up in Photoshop, gave it a bit of a crop, squared off the image which is my preferred framing these days, took the background to black, tweaked the contrast and that's pretty much it. 2 days later it's now past it's prime, aren't we all, and I'm thinking better throw them out before I'm instructed to and what do I see but this.....

All of the petals are starting to drag down and the outer (bottom most) petals are showing signs of decay, out comes the camera and we're off again trying to catch that illusive image. This particular one is shot sitting directly on the black cloth which tends to suck a lot of the light out of the bottom of the image conversely making the rest of the image appear to glow. To me the resulting image brings to mind a type of organic pagoda. Back into photoshop I go, blah blah blah, oh and just to clarify, I haven't added that warm glow from the inside that was there. So I've now wangled another reprieve for the flowers and they will be with me for another day or two. Then this presents itself....

At this point the petals have fully opened and are now seemingly curling back in on themselves, the head is barely hanging onto the top of it's stem, hence the downward hanging pose. Once again it is shot on the black cloth sucking the light out of the bottom of the image and making the upper areas glow. Now it really is time to allow them to join the compost heap but not before some of the petals fell off and I tried photographing those. Let's just say those images have, metaphorically, also joined the compost heap.

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Be well