One of the best things about the creative process is the opportunity to experiment and discover new things and new ways of doing them. Accidents can turn happy when an unexpected twist becomes a beautiful result!
I often experiment with my photography, and today I spent time doing something I’ve been wanting to try for a while.
My thought was to use a single type of flower and give it different looks and feels by the styling and the backdrops. Some would be more rustic in feel, while others would have a more formal look. The constant would be the flower, and the experiment would be the different photographic looks that could be achieved.
While I usually photograph flowers outdoors, today’s experiment was all about being inside in a studio setting where things could be controlled. I have photo boards in a variety of colors and patterns, and they can be mixed and matched as the horizontal floor and the vertical backdrop. Different combinations of the boards yield very different looks for your photographs.
As for which flower to choose, I decided to not use roses, daisies or hydrangeas since I often photograph these. Instead, I wanted a flower I’ve never photographed – one that could lend itself to a variety of styling scenes – and one that could hold its own as the central figure in each photo since the only styling items would be the photo boards, and various vessels such as vases, bowls and pails.
And, the winner was … the sunflower! I’ve long wanted to visit a large field of sunflowers and shoot them at different times of the day as their stems turn to flower-face the east and the west. And while this still is on my bucket list, I was able to buy single sunflowers for my studio experiment.
It was fun to photograph the sunflowers in different ways by mixing up the styling colors and types of vessels. For example, a fancy glass vase with sunflowers shot with a dramatic black setting gives a more formal feeling. And, conversely, shooting those same sunflowers in a galvanized steel bucket in a rustic wood setting results in a much more casual kind of photograph.
When you’re working with a variety of vessel heights, you have to sequence your shots as you shorten the flower stems. You always can cut more off, but you can’t add back more to a stem! Today’s sunflowers started with 27″-tall stems and during the course of my shooting, the stems got shorter and shorter – until at the end they were only 2″ tall!
If you’ve been following my blog, you know how much colors mean with everything I do, and it certainly holds true with my photography. Today I abandoned some preconceived thoughts about what colors would work best with the yellow sunflower, and in doing so, I found some different color combinations and looks that are surprisingly pretty.
It’s all about experimenting with your creativity – and finding new things that inspire you and your projects. Take a look at these sunflower photos from my experiment, and see how a single type of flower can look and feel so different.
And, think of ways you can try new things with your creative endeavors, living the life of The Daily Artisan!
What kinds of experiments have you done with your creative endeavors? Please comment below!