The Only Constant in Life Is Change.- Heraclitus
The other day, after noticing how the flower above had turned into such a wild old lady with the “hair” all messed up, I could not resist making a portrait of it.
Aging is a common experience to all of us, and wilting flowers have the power to remind us of it. One day there is a beautiful flower opening up, a few days later it is completely transformed. The same phenomenon happens in front of the mirror, to our pets, friends and family members.
Since aging is inevitable, it is only natural that we seek to find and to portray beauty in it. Perhaps for this reason, many photographers are attracted to “decaying beauty” photography at one time or another in their careers. And many choose to portray flowers because flowers are relatively easy to work with.
Artists trying to portray dissolution and decay may quickly find out that, in general, people from the public are not very enthusiastic about photos that remind them of the realities of life. I recall that, back when I was into photographing fading beauties (a few photos from that period can be seen in my still life Instagram portfolio), I received a number of condescending comments from friends and family. People questioned my mental health, told me that my photography was too morbid and depressive, and some asked me if I needed help. Initially, I did not mind the comments, but as time went on, I started feeling inadequate. Eventually, I stopped taking those kinds of pictures altogether, but today, I had a relapse.
Location: home studio;
Equipment: Nikon Z50, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F/1.8G, black background, tipod, remote trigger;
Settings: f/16, 3s, ISO 250;
Tips: this was a long exposure without a flash. The original color of the flower is orange reddish, and I did not use a color filter to obtain the black and white, as I did on a previous post. The conversion to monochrome was processed in Photoshop. One thing I failed to understand in the past is that those types of photos will look better in print with the lens closed down: more depth of field helps to highlight the texture, curves and details of these fading beauties. You will not notice any problems with shallow D.O.F. in the Instagram-size files, but large prints tend to reveal what is missing.