For many of us, and often, flowers can be so common that we tend to promptly ignore and dismiss them after a cursory delight and admiration. We readily recognize as fact that flowers are inherently beautiful, even before florists and floral designers arrange them into some kind of artful presentation in the service of a special occasion or another. And in that perception of beauty, as we often do, in the context of our hurried life and harried ways, we gloss over them, relegating them to a mere glance.
I hope, this one time, we stop for more than just a moment to look intently, to observe, and discover, the soul of a flower.
The Soul of a Flower is my new, never-before-seen collection of 60 finely crafted and artistically stylized black-and-white high-resolution photographic images that takes an intimate look into a dozen common and not-so-common varietals of flowering plants.
Perhaps, unlike most flower photos we’ve seen before, the final images in this exclusive set are purposefully presented in a stark, minimalistic black-and-white style. This allows us to look at the represented flowers with a sense of formality, intelligence and reverence, without the oft-perceived garishness, distraction, vulgarity even, of colors, with the hope that we might, even for a fleeting moment, pour ourselves directly into the images in order to be rewarded with a revealing glimpse into the purity and deep understanding of the soul of each flower.
Starting with masterfully shot original high-resolution RAW images files straight out of a modern digital camera, the technically exposed digital files are subjected to a long, meditative black-and-white conversion process that strictly adheres to a superbly disciplined handcrafting style using the latest version of a variety of state-of-the-art, professional-grade post-production digital tools that are widely available today to practicing photographers. This time-consuming and painstaking process brought out the graduated range of grays from the blackest of black to the whitest of white that expands on the idea of the zone system originated and developed by the highly regarded landscape and nature photographer, Ansel Adams.
And from this stringent method of galvanic isolation that peeled away the surface color layer, what emerges is the astounding clarity of complex shapes and forms and textures—from stems to sepal, from petal to pistil, and from stamen to stigma. With each image brilliantly defined by monochromatic shades, our eyes are opened, to see beyond the color, and to behold the flower for what it is—in fact, for what it has always been—nature’s delightful marvel of infinitely constructed beauty that, perhaps, we are seeing only for the very first time.
For all its radiant beauty, and for all the meanings we’ve associated with all kinds of flowers and its arrangements, almost always we nowadays hardly pay them any meaningful mind. Edward Counsel knowingly asserts “flower fades that is not looked upon.” In this collection of 60 black-and-white flower photographs, collectively, The Soul of a Flower, these will not fade because we looked at them.