The nice thing about using plants as a subject to photograph is that, for the most part, they don’t move, which means less blurry photos. Plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which makes them interesting to capture. Finally, photographing plants helped me comprehend the creative devices of photography.
Below are my five best photos I captured at the Williams Conservatory and the creative elements they demonstrate.
My objective for this photo was to create depth by drawing the viewer’s eye down. This photo also demonstrates framing with flowers and leaves surrounding the stone and the water trickling down. The water reflecting off the stone and the leaves on the left-hand side create a lovely texture. Lastly, this photo was cropped in so the illusion of depth wouldn’t be lost.
I don’t remember the name of this plant, but what I do remember is its size was a lot to capture in a single frame; which is why I chose to make the center of it my focal point.
The leaves of the plant create leading lines that carry the viewer’s eye in and out of the center of the plant. There is a repetition of pattern on the leaves, green, yellow and white striped leaves moving in various directions. According to the rule of thirds, the center of the plant is right in the middle of the shot.
The first thought that came to mind when observing this photo was a preset screensaver for a laptop; this reminds me of a stock image which adds an element of familiarity.
Here we see a small plant framed in its own pot. This plant creates a contrast against the washed out pale pinks and grays of the pebbles it rests upon. The composition of this photo puts the plant almost directly in the middle according to the rule of thirds. Finally, the wire mesh the pot is placed on has a repeating pattern.
There are two examples of symmetry illustrated above. The first example is the teal pillars that appear in either side of the tree bark. The second example is shown by the green branches stretching out spanning left and right. There is an array of textures captured in this photo: the smooth and wet pillars, the spiked leaves and the rugged tree bark. The color scheme of this photo is cool colors, greens and blues.
This was the fourth photo I took in the observatory, but I knew right away it would be my favorite photo from the day. I chose viewpoint as my primary creative element because the lantern was photographed to look like the viewer was looking up at it. The leaves in the top left are out of focus and the beams and windows do the same.
The primary focus, the lantern, contains an intricate and repeated pattern. The beams in the background illustrate leading lines; they appear to gravitate towards the lantern. The branch the lantern hangs on leads the viewer’s eye upward. There is a good contrast between dark and light colors in this photo as well.
Something that surprised me is that the concept of the ‘perfect shot’ just doesn’t exist. I found that when I tried to shoot photos like that they wouldn’t turn out successfully. I found more success when I relaxed and didn’t overthink the composition of the shot. The perfect title for a photograph isn’t existent either; another struggle I encountered in the creative process was finding the line between a generic and overly dramatic title.
Along with that idea, recreating a successful photo is not as easy as it seems. I tried to take another photo of the lantern near the end of class time, but it lacked the same qualities that made it successful the first time.
This may not be true for all viewers, but my basis for deciding which photos were the most aesthetically-pleasing were based largely on composition. Composition seems like a generic theme at face value, but it asked the question ‘how much of the object should be shown?’ which ties to how a photo is cropped.