This photo comes from the world of spring, and I call it the “flower tower”. It was taken in Kew Gardens, London one fine spring day while we were walking with friends.
Good photography does involve a level of technical skill: you should know how to work your camera settings, or at least understand the basics. Nevertheless, the most important aspect of good photography is always composition and an eye for perspective, scale and finding quirky angles.
Technically this photo was taken with a very shallow depth of field and using a fast shutter speed. But that’s technical.
Consider now the composition of this shot and what it communicates. It’s a “stack” of open flowers pointed downward. From the normal vantage point of a standing human being, you would never see this. Indeed on the day we were walking through Kew Gardens, these flowers were about knee height and sprouting out of a bed of earth. Hardly interesting from that height…
Until I decided to bend down. I got low and looked up at these flowers, and the perspective and scale completely changed. Now the flower stack seemed bigger than me, almost looking down on me – powerful, tall, confident. It seemed almost mythical, like that story about magic beans that turn into a bean stalk that spirals up into the clouds where a giant and his treasure await.
When I showed this photo to different people I got a range of reactions; A cascade of Homer Simpson mouths, an onslaught of petal power, a waterfall of cups, a blast of angry gobs who won’t shut up, and I even got an “array of gateways to alternate universes” (definitely want to smoke what they’re smoking!)
Everyone seemed to see something different in this photo, but all it was in reality was a flower tower in Kew Gardens seen from a different vantage point.
Good photography, like life, is always a matter of perspective.
Here are some of my other shots from the natural world:
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