Magnolia - Flower of the South

Magnolias are ancient. Evolving before the appearance of bees, their flowers have a primitive beauty that is both delicate and structural. With a limited lifespan after cut from the tree, each flower has a small window of opportunity to be photographed before the pedals go limp and a brownness overtakes the pure white.

Photographing flowers is not easy. I find it similar to doing portraits, although dealing with a flower is infinitely easier than an 18 month old. Each flower has its own personality and characteristic. Finding these innate qualities is the challenge. For me it is all about the way the light finds its way around the folds and crevasses, creating gentle sweeping arcs and sharp angles, shadows of mystery, and highlights of subtle features. The contrast of the petals and leaves with their the similarities and differences, are explored.  It is the abstract and not the literal that reveals the essence of the bloom.

June, 2012.