A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

Thistle in black-and-white

As promised in the previous entry: the first photo with my new camera. Photos of plants and flowers I can make in our own garden–thanks to my wife’s green fingers. And thanks to nature’s whims, because I don’t think that the highly decorative thistle in this picture was intended to be there. Never mind; it is there.

Is this not a picture that might appeal to Imogen Cunningham? Her modernist flower and plant photo’s of the 1920s are among the best in almost two centuries of plant photography that I know! I hope that the Trust won’t mind my reproduing a little example of her most classical magnolia flower photo. Looking at that example, I guess that she might have tried to come closer than I did: there are three main buds in my picture and she would have chosen a single one, but I liked not only the variegated leaves, together with the composition of a minor “strong point” in the upper left and the major point of attention on the right.

As for the technicalities: the picture was made with the camera + macro lens on a tripod in natural, diffuse light. Postprocessing was just a few minutes of Lightrooming. I converted to black-and-white, reduced the greens and surrounding colours (and for good measure increasedg the reds and magentas, though I did not see much of a change doing that), and finally I increased the contrast with the tone curve, to ensure some deep blacks and then have the full range till almost pure white.

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