Tomorrow, I get to talk to a bunch of people about something to which I still don’t know the answer.
Why do I make images. Note the careful phrase “make images”. Even if I use the words, I don’t believe in “taking pictures”. I use whatever means I can to create something that pleases me. Often I find that others to whom I show my images don’t like some of them as much as I do. I get a goodly share of positive feedback for which I am always grateful, but it is still something of a lottery for me. If I didn’t make so many images I would have far fewer successful ones. A friend (she knows who she is) made a lovely image of an unopened poppy bud the other day. It was green against a green background and was breathtaking in its simplicity and beauty. Sometimes I have to work very hard to point myself in the direction of that simplicity.
When I talk to the group tomorrow, one of my messages will be the importance of what gets left out of the picture. Sometimes a fragment of a scene conveys more than the wide view. Yesterday there was persistent light drizzle, so I got the idea that the annual tulip festival in the Botanic Gardens might respond well to being photographed in the rain and might even allow me to make a few images.
To my shock and disappointment, there were some large patches of bare earth. Some kind of fungal infection had invaded some of the tulip beds and they had to be cleared away, so it became even more necessary to concentrate on detail rather than the broad scene.
One particular variety of white tulip had distinctive ragged edges to its petals and I though them worth a closer look. Though I have done them, I am not a wedding photographer. This was a little like shooting the bridal dress, and required a lot of care to expose for detail as well as the natural brilliance of the flower.
The gardens are fairly traditional, with formally laid out blocks of particular flowers and blocks of colour. As well as the tulips, there were poppies, though the gales that had blasted through the night before had made a mess of the fragile flowers. A few had survived, or perhaps they had opened afterwards, but again the idea of using a detail to represent the whole came to the fore.
Despite the dismal weather, a lot of people were wandering though the gardens, moved as I was by the simplicity of the thing. I must remember to keep coming back for it.
Thanks to the kind people who sent supportive messages after the thousandth edition.