I have a delight in wandering in the environment where ever I am, looking and touching, admiring textures and patterns, embracing colours, tones, shapes and looking for unseen beauty and rare oddities. I shoot with passion for my subjects.
During one of my early morning garden walks in Kangaroo Valley, (South of Sydney Australia), I unexpectedly came across a garden bed of Agapanthus in the mist, their long stalks craning upwards, leggy flower buds, ready to burst open, their colour washed out by the mist. I was suddenly taken aback in that moment.
In the mist the Agapanthus looked completely alien to the earth, odd, something that the famous John Wyndam would have used for inspiration for one of his books, “The Day of the Triffids’, or one Isaac Asimov floating world’s cities suspended on long cords in the sky. These were not flowers on a stalk any more.
I cleaned the lens from any moisture, and generally prepared. I just had to take the oddity further by choosing to shoot the subjects from the ground on my back, to accentuate the long stems and flower heads against the mist and grey sky the ‘aliens-in-the-mist’ feeling I was experiencing. I was exploring the unexpected in the subject.
With the light being low because of the mist, I braced the camera against my face to compensate the lower shutter speed, and held my breath and pressed the shoot button very softly. I could have used the time delay, but I was so cold, I need to take the frames I wanted and get up out of the wet garden bed that I had wiggled around in for 15 minutes. What I saw was exciting, was palpably to me, an ‘alien’ shot, I don’t know if I was shaking from the cold, or shaking from the excitement.
Looking at the image now, not only do I see the alien in the subjects, I also see an interesting sense of solitude which often appears in my work.
What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!
For me, a good photographic image must always engage the viewer either emotionally or intellectually.
It was my intention to reveal the ‘alien Agapanthus beasts nature’, and the other-worldly atmosphere I thought my subject had. This was achieved successfully in choosing an unexpected angle for the shot, and later accentuating the oddity in the processing using several transparent layers of the same image to build the strange atmosphere.
I had a big smile, confirmation of this when one of the FRAMES community members mentioned it was “Triffid-like”.
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 have definitely taken a towel with me, my back was uncomfortably wet after the experience. Seriously though, examination of your own image at a distance provided by time, always teaches you something about that image. Now, I would have removed a little of the ‘clutter’ in the lower right of the of the image.
Lyndall Gerlach shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.
Lyndall Gerlach, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
I am working on a site now, but if you would like to contact me, message me on FB.
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