Story lines


My photo education continues. I recently started an 11-week course on the Art of Photography at SPAO. Our first assignment was to take 5 out of the ordinary shots of tulips. John, our teacher, wanted something more than a typical snapshot of the flowers. Why Tulips? That Friday was on the last weekend of the Tulip Festival here in Ottawa.

I knew from the start that I wasn’t interested in shooting the flowers on site in one of the many flower beds around town. I thought a lot about what I wanted and drawing on a process I learned in my last course, I sketched out five images that evolved into a bit of a story with commercialism of tulips as the theme. I decided I wanted a series that would show flowers for sale, the purchase, and their display, not in a vase but rather in a colder scientific way. This would be juxtaposed with one or two color shots highlighting the beauty of the flower.

The sketches helped by directing me towards a certain type of picture. In reality, finding tulips for sale was more difficult than I had anticipated, I eventually found the last two bunches available in the By-Ward market area. These two pictures were taken in a more rushed way than was planned but I knew I’d have something to work with.



Back at home, I set up in the kitchen where I’d have natural light. One shot I hoped to get was a blurred shot of a flower falling, several attempts didn’t work out the way I wanted so I discarded those. Next was the sectional or exploded view, my inspiration was the cover of the book Lucy, the 4 million year old ancestor of humans.


Next were the macro shots, I added the water drops to create more interest. The better of the two photos is at the top of this post. We looked at everyone’s shots at the next class and I was pleased that mine didn’t seem out of place. Some, I have to say were quite stunning. From my group, John had a preference for the two color shots. I can’t blame him actually.


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