Rye Patch Pansies: Part 3
Part 3 is a continuation of the Rye Patch Pansies blog posts. To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 2, click here.
I returned to Patsy’s Garden the next day in the afternoon after it had rained at night and during the morning.
The surface drops and pastel colors in my Watered piece were undeniably attractive. This pansy is another example of one where the pastels are mixed and/or blended with more vibrant colors. In part, that is due to the color saturation enhancing ability of water and the wet surfaces. I loved the drops coming down from the center and the perfectly round outlier in the lower right corner that looks like a bubble floating on the surface. I also liked how the water can act as a magnifying glass amplifying the view of the surface texture below it. Due to the aesthetic importance of the lower drops, I placed the green heart in the center of the flower on the top one third line using the rule of thirds. I then worked out a focal point that would include the drops in the zone of sharpness while still keeping the lateral hairs sharp (a tricky combination but significant aspect because the flower is the subject while the drops act like pieces of jewelry that provide enrichment). The high level of detail allows surface textures and the outline of the open gazebo structure, that surrounds Patsy’s Garden, in the reflections off the drops to be seen.
While the color saturation in my Showered composition undoubtedly got a boost from the water, not all of the pansies in Patsy’s Garden displayed the pastel tones. Indeed, this one had colors that were quite vibrant (especially the pink/purples near the center of the flower). I made the aesthetic decision to give a little more space to the left side, therefore I placed the top, right most crossing line, using the rule of thirds, just a little off the center of the flower. I also wanted to feature the large water drop so it needed space to sit. The same focal point tug of war happened here because of the height of the drop and the distance to the completely water covered lateral hairs. The extremely shallow depth of field, while shooting at two times life-size, doesn’t give much room to find the focal sweet spot. The high level of detail permits surface textures to be seen here as well.
While the flower in my Patsy’s Pansy isn’t nearly as wet as the previous pieces, the color combination was fantastic. With spectacular colors like this, I was completely committed to creating a composition of it. I loved how the vibrant purples near the center fade off into darker tones, the random scattering of yellows on the anterior petal, and the red dots just below the center as the yellows filter their way into the darker reds. I wanted the single available drop on the left lateral petal for aesthetic reasons and because it adds visual interest, so I placed the top, right most crossing line (using the rule of thirds) slightly off center of the green heart in the flower’s core. Since the colors and the flower itself had the highest priorities, the focal point is on the lateral hairs. While that brought the drop on the left lateral hairs firmly into the zone of sharpness, the drop out on the petal is just barely in. I love the crystalline structure of the lateral hairs, and I’ve always felt that they were like tiny little light sticks that make that area of the flower brighter and more exciting. Thanks to the high level of detail, surface textures can be seen.
Rye Patch Pansy isn’t a vertical companion to Patsy’s Pansy, but it is the same flower. The colors were so incredible that I had to create a vertical version. And, I like it every bit as much as I do the horizontal. The pastel colors above the center of the flower made twisting the lens around worth it all by themselves. Placing the bottom one third line, using the rule of thirds, about half way down the red area above the green heart in the core ensured that the yellow coming from the center just barely makes it to the edge of the frame. That aesthetic decision amplified the highlighting effect it has in that area and helped give the center an ability to shout over the top of the gorgeous surrounding colors (which it needed because that’s some serious competition). Together, the color combinations are artistically stunning and provide another illustration of why I love composing with pansies. Once again, I used the lateral hairs as my focal point, and while the extremely shallow depth of field didn’t extend all the way to the back of the posterior petal, hairs on either side of the green heart in the center are visible. Surface textures, individual hairs, and individual pieces of pollen can also be seen thanks to the high level of detail.