Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why I like this photo of an iris


I can imagine that, on first seeing it, some might be puzzled about just what this photograph depicts. Of course, I’m not puzzled, because I was there when I took the photo. I know it depicts an iris, or at any rate, parts of some iris blossoms. But there is no single blossom solidly in view; just fragments at various positions, angles, and degrees of focus.

The photo is a bit of a puzzle, though I didn’t shoot it in order to pose riddles. I’m not trying to fool or mystify you. I just want you to look at, and enjoy, the photo.

I can imagine that someone who is intimately familiar with irises would clarify (subject of) the image more readily than someone who is not. Someone who’d never seen an iris, except perhaps in a Japanese print, might not recognize the irises at all. And if they’d never even heard of irises, much less seen them, how could they possibly recognize them in the photo? But they would surely conclude that they’re looking at some kind of flower, some petals and what not.

As you surely are.

What’s at the in-focus center of the photo in shades of light tan? I believe it is a dead blossom, that has dried and lost its color. And then to the right below, a large area of shaded purples, a near petal that’s out of focus. At the upper edge of that purple and to the right, a bit of yellow, and then whites a lavender. The various petals to the left are more sharply focused.

Then there’s the play of light and shadow in and among the petals. That, as much as the petals themselves, is what this photograph is about.

And that is why I like this photograph.

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