Rye Patch Pansies: Part 2
Part 2 is a continuation of the Rye Patch Pansies blog posts. To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 1, click here.
After having created the pieces displayed and written about in the part one post, I was positioning the camera for a new subject when a strange hissing sound broke the concentration and focus I had trained exclusively on my next composition. Almost simultaneously I saw water start shooting out and flying everywhere. In the blink of an eye, I knew that the automatic watering system was coming to life, and I immediately grabbed the camera and leapt away from Patsy’s Garden. I still can’t believe that only a couple of drops of water landed on the camera and lens barrel (the glass itself was dry). Up until that point, I didn’t know that Patsy’s Garden had a sprinkler system. A little shook up with a heart beating a bit fast, I stood there watching water spray out at least 6 feet beyond the flowers. I hoped that perhaps the same timer that kicked it off would shut it down, but after waiting more than twenty minutes for it to stop, I decided it was best to move on and see what other subjects could be found in the area.
When I returned, the spritzing had ceased and what I found was very exciting. There is just something about water drops on flowers that takes them to another level. The wetness by itself is great because it brings out the color saturation, but for me, the shapes and reflections that shine like diamonds are equally compelling and almost always worth shooting. Part of the trick is finding one that you can get the camera’s focal plane on in a way that will maximize the depth of field. Flowers that are somewhat wet while also having water drops is a recipe that is sure to get me fired up.
I loved the colors and the drops along the edges of the petals in my Arch Enhancing piece. Similarly, the drops near the center of the flower create visual interest especially with their magnifying glass properties. I find the surrounding colors being both captured and reflected from the surfaces of the drops just as enticing. I placed the subject in the frame so that the top one third line, using the rule of thirds, crossed just above the green heart at the flower’s center. I then used the lateral hairs as my focal point. That aesthetic decision put the water drops nicely in the zone of sharpness. The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.
Along with the fantastic colors, the arbitrary way the drops were scattered around the subject in my Random Jewelry piece drew me in. I’ve written in a previous post about how I consider water drops to be almost like jewelry for flowers and this subject was working it. I also liked how some of them appear to be nearly perfect spheres that seemingly float above the flower. Here too, I placed the subject in the frame so that the top one third line, using the rule of thirds, crossed just above the green heart at the flower’s center. For aesthetic reasons, the lateral hairs were, once again, used as my focal point with the concentration being on the left side. Depending on their relative distance from the camera’s sensor (within the focal plane), most of the water drops fell into the zone of sharpness. Here too, the high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.
The petal surfaces in my H 2 Oh! piece were wet and nearly covered in drops. Equally attractive were the gorgeous colors beneath all that water. After inspecting the flower through the lens at two times life-size, I made the aesthetic decision to create an abstract composition that featured the drops while utilizing the bright and bold colors as a fantastic backdrop. I placed the pansy in the frame so that the upper left crossing line, using the rule of thirds, was on the green heart in the flower’s center. I then pulled it left just a little so that the drops I wanted on the right side of the frame weren’t cut off by the edge. I used the two largest drops on both sides of the anterior petal as my focal point which caused some drops to be in and others to be beyond the zone of sharpness. As it was only providing a very colorful background, the flower received no sharpness consideration. While creating compositions, the sunstars being reflected on some of the surfaces provided additional excitement. I actually created pieces of this subject using the diffuser where no sunstars remained, but I prefer how they add visual interest and throw concentrated light that illuminates the colors where it’s focused.
My Crystalline piece is similarly abstract with even more distinct spheres and another stunning background. Once again, I made the aesthetic decision to force the flower into becoming a gorgeous backdrop for the water drops which also meant that it wasn’t afforded any sharpness concerns. The pattern that the drops form makes it appear that they are flowing out of the center of the flower and rolling down it towards the corner on the left-hand side. Almost as if the flower itself was producing them. Here too, I preferred the composition with the sunstars over the version that utilized the diffuser.