Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Tag

Controlling Light and Visual Interest   Leave a comment

Tulip Bulbs

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

I have often been accused by my wife of committing “art speak” when expressing my feelings about art or my photography. Accused, suggesting a distaste, for the perceived pontification of analysis of art. I actually like to take an in-depth journey into what art means to me, though stop short of an “art world” historically influenced, high brow  view often posited by intellectuals; and yes that is my distaste.

I like to speak about how art makes me feel, where my eye travels in the image and how the subtle elements of contrast, color, form and composition influence the feelings I feel when I stare into the artwork and am moved by its presence in my world.

So it is with this image that I am pulled into it, examining its detail, not looking for meaning, but simply basking in the beauty of the pedals, the bulbs,  the roots, the lighting, and the life of the flowers suspended in water. Life emitting from the chaos of a root system visible through the container in which it is held.

Early attempts at lighting were naturally trained on the yellow pedals, until mid way through the shoot, I began to become more and more fascinated with the bulbs and root system of the arrangement. Adjusting my studio strobes to concentrate their power on the lower section of the flowers resulted in some glare and required some fine tuning and post production tweaks to ensure the clarity of the area I wanted to draw the viewers attention to was unencumbered.

I have written before that I only marginally obey compositional rules like the rule of thirds, discreetly and intuitively. That said, what I love about this image is the unbalance within the balance. The leaf, partially broken, straddling the lip of the vase, rests conspicuously in front, demanding attention to itself in its denial of its peers attempts to stand tall. The bulbs, often hidden from view, brightly calling awareness to themselves, like younger siblings seeking notice. Beneath the water, lies another layer of support, roots stretching in all directions, the labyrinth now contained only by the clear glass, taking its shape and wanting. Finally, the yellow tulip flowers, accustomed to the stare of the voyeur, now found competing for that gaze.  They are but a subplot in the play, the best supporting actor, no longer the protagonist.

Set against a plain black background all this drama might otherwise be lost, if not for some careful lighting and visual “slight of hand”, working its way through your consciousness, or at the very least mine.

Thanks  for stopping by …  and indulging me my visual soapbox


Posted March 15, 2013 by Paul Coffin in Art, Nature, Photography, Studio

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Pottery at a Roadside Antique Shop   Leave a comment

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

Last evening I attended an intimate concert in the rolling hills just north of the northern suburbs of Atlanta at a horse farm called  Chukkar Farms. The warm evening was filled with the sounds of country music from two singer song writers from Nashville, overlooking a large polo field with the super sized moon slowly rising in the clear sky beyond. It was truly magical and reminded me how peaceful country life can be.

This afternoon my wife and I decided to take a leisurely drive to the same area and came upon a small antique store she had been wanting to visit for some time. Attracted by the unique and colorful items that sat outside the store, I was happy to turn the car around and venture in.

This picture, is of course a high dynamic range photograph, that embellishes the color and draws detail from the shadows. The items appear to have been randomly placed on the front porch and the late afternoon sun cast just enough shadow to add contrast to the scene. I know our eyes essentially see in high dynamic range, but the texture and color in the pots was less obvious to me in the sunlight than it is in the photo.

By the way, I don’t say it in every post, but I do appreciate you dropping by to see my photographs and read my stories. I would love your feedback and encourage you to make comments as you desire.