Photography Project: Abstract images of spring flowers


I can’t seem to get enough flowers lately.  Between my new Fuji and just completing an on-line course in flower photography, I decided to try to conquer my nemesis – the Canon 65mm macro lens.

I think I am getting better with this lens, but I am still not even close to mastery.  This time I adjusted my approach to focusing, which I think will also serve me well with the Fuji.  My struggles centered around using my macro rails (the special tripod equipment that helps me make minute adjustments to camera/lens placement), and unfortunately Peter wasn’t around to help me sort it out.  But there is always a next time.  For this project, I wanted to work with:

  • Selective focus – picking just one element to be sharp (or in some cases, almost sharp – much to my dismay)
  • Negative space – using the shapes of the flowers and where they join with each other to highlight negative space
  • Color – the orange tulips, purple iris’ with yellow centers gave me a lot of opportunity
  • Curves – trying to accentuate the natural curves of the petals

I was disappointed when my subjects finally died, but was so inspired by the photography class, that I bought a couple of books to continue in my exploration of close-up photography (and flower arranging!).

1402_MFA_Flower_043 1402_MFA_Flower_042 1402_MFA_Flower_041 1402_MFA_Flower_036 1402_MFA_Flower_034 1402_MFA_Flower_033 1402_MFA_Flower_032 1402_MFA_Flower_029 1402_MFA_Flower_027 1402_MFA_Flower_026


  1. Loretta S

    Mary, keep going with this! The idea of negative space and selective focus is intriguing. Lovely, mystical images with significant color impact. Interior floral landscapes. I’ve tried this with irises (difficult), roses, and tulips. This season I hope to try day lillies, too, since they have interesting curls on their petals. I have virtually the same tulip shot as the last one you have on this blog page, except mine is pink. Fun, fun, fun. Except we are getting more snow here on Long Island, NY as I write–no sign of flowers anywhere! Could you share what your on-line course was? URL?

  2. pamphotography

    Hi Loretta – I agree I think Iris’ can be very challenging to capture. Day Lillies are a great idea – the LA Arboretum has a huge field of them, once they are in bloom I will have to give it a go. I’m not a cold weather gal – so the snow sounds terrible. Maybe some extreme macros of snowflakes?
    The course I took was Photographing Flowers by Harold Davis. It’s on Scroll to the bottom and you should see it (unless it shows differently for me b/c I’m enrolled).

  3. Steven Dillon

    Very nice series of images. Love the color and detail in a couple of them. I’ve been WAY into abstract macro photography for the past couple of years. I have to say that iris make great subjects, but so far nothing compares to the day lilies.

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