During COVID-19 times and once restrictions eased I took great joy from visiting Beth Chatto’s gardens near Colchester where the floral displays are breathtaking and soothing in equal measure. I have an annual membership to the gardens and have visited many times and love seeing the seasonal changes throughout the year. Even the dying plants can have their own decaying beauty.
The flower borders are stunning and the original poppy image I took was pleasing enough but didn’t really convey the feeling I experienced, so I decided to make the image I had in my head by compositing other elements to create that feeling.
I am retired and spend my time as an artist working with mixed media and stitching. Photography is a passion which I use in my toolbox of art materials too. I had always planned to incorporate more of my photography into my artwork when I had more time in retirement and I’m slowly developing my style and technique to do this. I have experimented with different photo transfer methods on to fabrics and canvas in order to find a balance of photo and texture. This in turn, feeds back into my pure photographic images which are then manipulated using a combination of iPhone apps such as Snapseed and Photoshop on my computer.
In Poppy Haze, the picture I had in my mind was quite a painterly one and I wanted to achieve that effect. I spent some time using layer masks and dodging and burning in Photoshop to work on the way I wanted to portray the feeling of the light and the emotion I felt at the time.
The different layers were created with other flower images from the gardens and other locations.
What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!
I love the colours which are some of my favourites and the feeling of light and mystery.
If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?
I would like to create an atmosphere and feeling using autumnal flowers and plants and a warm, autumnal colour palette… but I would need to experience it in the gardens and see if the mental picture had a similar vision of light and intrigue.
Christine Alexander shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.
Christine Alexander, Colchester, UK
Equipment and settings
I shoot with the Fujifilm X-T4 and my favourite lens is the XF16-55mm F2.8. I also use many iPhone Pro 11 shots in my composite work.
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