Serendipity and the Sony a6000 and Voigtländer 90mm f/3.5 APO-Lanthar SL-II - Flower Photography


Following on from my post yesterday - http://soundimageplus.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/serendipity-and-sony-a7r-and.html - I can of course use the same 'technique' with my a6000.













I am equally pleased with the results and I think the results are somewhat magical and mysterious. To achieve this I've tried to steer clear of any kind of Instagram type effect and to that end choosing the right subject matter is essential. I did try some modern objects and the results looked just like some cheesy filter effect. i.e. Instagram!!

It's certainly something I will explore and since I'm right in the middle of my stately home / gardens in summer bloom shooting season, it's an ideal opportunity to try this out. 

This is also an interesting time to discover this since I was in a discussion on Google+ about flower and plant photography. The original poster said, quite rightly, that flower photography was as popular as pet photography (see shot of Jeff above!) and while he didn't state it as such, the implication is that somehow it's a mundane and run of the mill kind of photography. This is a perception that other readers have indicated as well, almost apologising for posting some flower pictures. Well I guess this kind of photography can be mundane, but I've never regarded it as such. I take as much care over my horticultural images as I do with anything else. 

In my reply to the post I used the example of Robert Mapplethorpe's flower pictures. This is the infamous New York photographer whose homoerotic work caused such a stir in the 70's and 80's. His take on photographing flowers is like the rest of his work, beautifully lit and very sensual. Incidentally he is one of my favourite photographers and I did a piece on him a while ago

I have however always tried to refine my own technique for this subject and what attracts me is colour, light and contrast. I'm not particularly interested in the botanical element and in fact don't know the names of most of what I photograph despite my background in this. It's the visual potential I'm interested in. For this I tend to use extreme lenses. Ultra wide angle or telephoto lenses, often getting down to ground level to shoot a 'plants eye view' of the world if you like. And I have to say that the results I've liked most have been achieved by using these 'wrong' lenses on my Sony cameras. i.e. The 10-18mm on my A7r and this wide-open heavy vignette look with the Voigtlander 90mm and adapter.


As I've indicated this is a subject which always dominates what I do at this time of year and if you've been reading my recent posts you will notice there is an awful lot of flower photography. And I'm in no mood to apologise for that, in fact this post is meant to promote flower, plant and horticultural photography in general. If that is what attracts us and brings our camera to our eye and makes us press the shutter, then there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Creating a good picture of a flower or a garden isn't an easy option, it's not something that anybody can do and it shouldn't be regarded as a poor relation to other more 'interesting' forms of photography. And I'd rather look at a creative, well thought out picture of a plant or flower than view the cliched crap that passes for 'street photography' these days. 

Finally those of us who spend a lot of time in a rural environment are used to this seasonal display that defines our year and I can think of no greater privilege than being able to use all my creative and technical abilities to document that. 


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