Blacks Crossing Photography and Writing | outside the box

outside the box

June 12, 2017  •  6 Comments

There are days when I feel like the Julia Child of photography - happily experimenting, adding and changing ingredients, flinging flour into the air, reaching for eggs only to have them explode and land in a gooey mess on the floor.  She was just a little outside the box in her approach to cooking.  I would consider myself no more than a basic cook, not even remotely in the same category as Child, who, among other things, was a researcher for the OSS during World War II.  Her brilliance and creativity led her into projects including the development of shark repellent to keep them away from ordnance meant to explode German U-boats.  What Julia Child had and I share is a passion for what she did and what I do, regardless of failures and messiness.  It is the best way to learn.

In my case, doing photography with an eye on thrift, presents definite challenges, forcing me to be creative with the materials I have at hand.  At any given time, I use what is in my immediate surroundings.  One afternoon, I wanted to make sure to work with the white and pink lilies given to us by friends Cristina and Ben.  The shelf life of flowers varies from bloom to bloom, and the more you move flowers around from one location to another, the greater the chances of creasing the petals and shaking the pollen onto your carefully chosen backdrops.

The thrift factor coming into play once again during this photo shoot, as I searched the house and its surroundings for possible backdrops.  I have found that the black that works best for the still life photography I do cannot carry a shine, patina or or loose weave.  Thus, the plain black cotton of several vests I own seems to work the best.

Here are two images of a white lily with its cayenne-colored stamens.  I was shaking these a bit too much, as you can see from the spots of pollen in the photographs.  The first was taken with the in-camera flash.  The one below it was taken with natural light and a white reflector, without flash.

lilies with black backgroundlilies with black background

lilies with black background-2lilies with black background-2      

I used a pink lily, along with a shallow depth of field, and natural light to produce three different images.  The aqua is actually the metal roof of our house.

lily with roof backgroundlily with roof background

The next image is the same lily with its stem in the weave of a basket, with plain white paper as the backdrop.

lily in basketlily in basket


And finally, the same lily propped on the window sill, just a hint of the roof line, and the wood floor below darkened for effect.

lily on window silllily on window sill  


Keep experimenting!

until next Monday,


a passion for the image@


Love the lilies
Would make beautiful cards for many occasion.
Fred Barraza(non-registered)
Wow! Excellent!!
Catherine Sobredo(non-registered)
Beautiful images, Daryl!
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Props to you for continuing to experiment like you do. I like the black background, too, and the one with natural light and a reflector seems to display more gradations of values that with the flash; more subtle and natural. It pops more to my eye. All are lovely.
Terry Thompson(non-registered)
Very nice setups Daryl.
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