In the beginning, I was hoping to create a photo essay detailing the steps on how to make a pie. I wanted to bring a recipe to life, but the plan flopped for many reasons and I had come back to square one. I decided then that I needed to achieve something different with this final project. I then decided to maybe to a photo essay that focused on the beauty of nature. The focus? Flowers.
I wanted to achieve beautiful close ups of exotic flowers that brought out the bright colors and unique shapes that all flowers come with. My camera takes really good photographs and close ups especially. I’ve tested it out in the past and come to find that I do bets with it. So, why not do a final photo essay on something I seem to be good in?
I wanted to really bring out color in this photo essay. Color usually affects a person’s mood, especially when they are looking at photo display. I wanted my to be bright and cheery and draw the viewer in with the exotic look that nature can bring us. I’ve always loved flowers too because I’ve found that their colors and shapes are beautiful and always brightens up someone’s day, even in just a photograph. Many winners in photograph competitions have been with flowers.
I have been influenced by these photo displays in the past, along with my own photography that I would take just out of boredom, messing with setting on my camera. Always found that the best poseurs for photos have been flowers. When I was in Hawaii as well, I came across stores selling professional photographer’s photos, many of them being the exotic tropical flowers that grew all over the island. I am sad I never got the business cards for these people, for their displays were breath taking. There was one artist would printed his photos on sheet metal. Very thin sheet metal, and the photos were incredible. The colors were so bright! It felt like it wasn’t a photograph but I was actually looking at the object itself. The coolest part of the exhibit was the room that was very dark and filled with photos from the flowing lava from the volcanoes on the island. The dark room really made the fiery orange and yellow of the lava pop.
Prepping for this exhibit, I actually had to find a place to photograph flowers in December and not just any flowers, but exotic ones. Luckily Washington DC has the National Botanical Gardens down by the Capitol. But do they have flowers during this time of the year? I researched their website and was glad to see that they still had many different exotic flowers blooming in their greenhouse. I also had to make sure my camera wasn’t going to die halfway through photographing the flowers. That wouldn’t bode well and I don’t need the stress of finding a store that sells batteries when all I want to do is get my project done.
The difficulties that I ran into during the production were hat despite the greenhouse being open, there still weren’t that many flowers blooming. There were a lot of trees and plants but no blooming flowers. The main hall too was just a massive display of poinsettias. I started getting a little concerned for I didn’t think I could do a photo essay on the diversity of flowers if there were no diverse flowers. Thankfully I was able to go deeper into the greenhouse and found the exotic flower room, which thankfully had what I was looking for. The second difficulty I came across was that my camera, despite having new batteries, almost died towards the end of the shooting. Thankfully I was able to collect enough photos before it completely died.
How I carried out my shooting of the photographs at the Botanical Gardens was I first visited the website and made sure that it would be open for the public and had displays available. I couldn’t really plot out a general plan of what flowers I wanted to take though, for I didn’t know what kinds to expect. It was more of a “go with the flow” production. When I arrived at the building I had difficulty finding rooms that held flowers on display for me to photograph that fit the criteria I was looking for. After about ten minutes I thankfully discovered the tropical flowers.
I was then disappointed by the lack of diversity I could find with the flowers. I think it’s because I’m shooting in an offseason, the winter, when most flowers aren’t alive. Most of what was displayed was orchids and I was hoping to be able to have more variety available to me. The shooting in the end took about one hour and I feel good about what came out. I got good color and shapes with what I got so I didn’t go too off the original plan I had. I may not have been able to branch out far from a family of flowers but thankfully the orchid family has within it a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Which is what I wanted.
When I finished the shooting for the photo essay, I was happy to come back with thirteen different kinds of flowers and about 3-4 different angles of them. I had a good seven different photos to chose from that came out the best and emphasized the criteria of what I wanted in my photo essay. I don’t want to do much editing to the flowers for I don’t want too much of them to be cropped out and I can’t play with the coloring of the pictures. What was to be achieved was to bring out the striking beauty of flowers in their natural state. Which was to photograph them in full color with the way they were, not trying to move them or anything.
What I learned doing this photo essay was how to adjust a plan before and during the production. I first had to adjust my original plan of creating a photo essay on a recipe. I ran into a problem and I had to make the decision of improvising or scratching the plan and starting new. I felt that starting new was going to be the best decision and it was for these photos came out beautiful. But I also learned that you have to adjust mid-project sometimes when the materials you need might not be there. I didn’t have hat much diversity then I thought so I made sure I took as many pictures of flowers that had unique colors and shapes to give the essences of diversity.
In the end I had success in bringing in bright and beautiful pictures of flowers but I was just disappointed that I didn’t get more tropical flowers like I hoped. Like the ones I found in Hawaii and photographed. I feel like despite the disappointment I think I conveyed the meaning what I wanted to through this photo essays. It’s bright, cheery, and varied and shows natural beauty. My overall view is that I am proud of the photos that I took, I just feel like I could do a lot more with camera setting and taking my time and really getting a good photograph. The pictures are just mediocre and I know I can do better with them. I would do this project again and I would learn from the mistakes in this one and fix