Yonce Lilies: Part 1
It had been two years since I last visited the Yonce Farm. Those of you that are long term readers may remember my last installment of blog posts from the photographic playgrounds (AKA gardens) Bob and Deloris maintain, but for those of you that haven’t read them, click here for an introduction to this very special place.
In late spring, we went out to the farm and visited with both of them. I wanted to be sure that Bob remembered me and to see if he had retired from the flower business as he had suggested he might. Though Deloris had developed some health problems, they were both quite active and engaged. Bob was working on his antique tractor and Deloris had been tending to her gardens next to the house and putting together pots of various flora to sell at upcoming shows/events that they attend. We spent a couple of enjoyable hours with them, and the wives had lots to talk about since they both have similar health issues. Luckily for me, Bob hadn’t retired and when I asked him about that, he said that he had “slowed down”. After telling me the best time of the year to see their flowers, he, once again, gave me permission to come back any time with unrestricted access to go wherever I felt had a subject worth pointing my camera at. I don’t know very many people their age (they could be our parents), but I can’t think of anyone in that age group I’d rather be friends with. I assured them that I would be back.
I made three separate trips out to their farm during the season and created some of my favorite lily compositions. This is the first of many blog posts covering those visits.
During the two year stretch without any Yonce farm subjects, my artistic tastes evolved a bit. I found myself being drawn to naturally abstract scenes more and more. I explained that to Bob my first morning back, and since he has some photography experience, I’m pretty sure he understood it. He seemed just as enthusiastic about my work as he previously had (regardless of what genre it was in). After pointing out some of his favorite flowers, he went back to his morning chores. I know I’ve written about this before, but it can be a bit overwhelming when there is that much beauty and so many opportunities in one place. I saw desirable compositions everywhere I looked. In fact, it was very difficult to keep them straight or even remember all of them. And sometimes I would come back to a subject that I thought was going to be my next creation only to find myself looking at something else that was next to it trying to decide which one I should create. That is a state of euphoria I wish I could find myself in every time I go out.
The colors and patterns in my Kaleidoscope piece were irresistible. My artistic vision was to utilize the brilliant colors to create the feel of looking through the window of a well known children’s toy. Perhaps due to the arch of the petals, they felt like they could have been rotated into this position in the frame. There is a little bit of visible surface texture within the zone of sharpness, but by composing at two times life-size, not much detail remained. I really liked the dew covered spider webs along the lower righthand side, but I have to admit, I didn’t know that they were on the flower until I got home and examined the image on a much larger scale. I love those little serendipitous surprises like that (especially when they add visual interest).
I was attracted to the flower in my Anther Cluster piece by both the pattern that the anthers formed and by the gorgeous background colors. My artistic vision was to dissolve the background details away and concentrate the focus on the anthers so that they were enhanced by having simple colors surround them. Even the filaments have a limited amount of detail and mostly consist of colors and shapes. However, within the zone of sharpness individual dew drops and surface texture can be seen.
The scene in my Rainbow Tornado piece was enhanced by being backlit. In addition to that, I was absolutely thrilled with the shape of the petal and the color palette. In my mind’s eye, I immediately thought that it looked like a tornado with a rainbow of colors dropping down into the frame as it spins and twists. Discovering naturally abstract compositions like this is why I love the abstract genre so much. For me, this is simply fantastic and very cool. I loved how the backlighting brought an orange glow to the outer edge of the petal and within the drops of dew along the fold of the twirl. The high level of detail allows individual dew drops to be seen along the upper petal edges.