Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stop and smell the roses

This weekend there was a rose show at the North Carolina Arboretum here in Asheville. I went out there to do as the old advice says. Of course, further experimenting with the new camera was on my mind, too.

As always, right-click/open in new tab to see larger versions.

First I just wandered a while outdoors:

Then I went inside to the star attraction.

Making pretty pictures of roses ought to be child's play. Not here. It wasn't for lack of good material; goodness gracious, they had an amazing assortment of rose varieties and colors. (And the smell in that room was nothing short of heavenly.)

But for nice pictures? It's as if they had a committee work for months devising every possible obstacle to successful floral photography. Most of the roses were single blooms in crystal vases. The lighting was a weird combination of fluorescent bulbs with hot incandescent spotlights. The walls were ugly, and would spoil any photo if not carefully blocked out of the frame or blurred into obscurity. There were people crowding around the display tables. I didn't have a macro lens. Finally, this was the third and last day of the exhibit, and many of the specimens were past their prime, getting wilty. (Is that enough excuses yet?)

The net effect of all of this was that I took 35 rose pictures, but deemed only six of them salvageable:

And now, to cleanse the palate from that surfeit of color, here's a trio of experimental studies of lines and surface textures, rendered in black and white:

Given the post title I chose, I feel compelled to end with a throwback to one of the big hit pop songs from 1974, when I was 13: "Stop and Smell the Roses" by Mac Davis (who, in a different phase of his career, wrote some of Elvis Presley's more unconventional hits, such as "In the Ghetto," and "A Little Less Conversation").