This close-up image of a pink water lily came about more or less by accident, rather than direct intent. We had gone out to a public garden to photograph water lilies, but there were a lot of leaves and other debris floating on the surface of the water. Faded blossoms from other plants, as well as torn and pockmarked lily pads, didn’t exactly help promote the site, either. While the garden would have been okay for a snapshot, trying to find a subject suitable for fine-art photography in this mess was a bit of a problem.
Since there was no “landscape” as such to photograph, and the water garden area wasn’t clean, I abandoned the idea of getting an entire flower in the frame. Sometimes leaves and twigs can add to an image, but there just wasn’t much of a subject here. I decided to try and get some close-ups of the flowers and to direct my energies to the details of the flowers, rather than the whole flower.
This image has a slightly soft focus, which some photographers might not like. I don’t remember the aperture settings, but this was likely shot with Velvia film which has a film speed of 50. Velvia is a nice film for plants and renders wonderful greens, but it is slow enough that you will need a tripod. I probably ended up with the soft focus because I got lazy about carrying around a 10-pound tripod and tried to hand-hold the camera. It didn’t help that much of the water garden was in partial shade, so a longer exposure was necessary.
Technicalities aside, I’m pleased with the final image. I like the asymmetrical shape that is formed by having the center of the flower at the left side of the image, while the petals reach up to the right edge of the photo. This creates a more dynamic image than if I had centered the flower in the frame. What do you think?