Flower University

By: pbcmedia

May 27 2009

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Flora and Fauna, Flowers, Life, Personal, Photography


Focal Length:100mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

At this time of year, I spend a lot of time looking at flowers and photograph them constantly.  I delete most of them.  It is not hard to take a pleasing image with a macro lens.

But, what I enjoy the most is to come home and find an image I hadn’t “seen” through the viewfinder.   Usually, it is a lesson of color and focus that captivates me, but this time, it was a lesson in beauty.

Verbena is a popular container plant.  They cascade over the sides of container gardens and come in many different colors.  You have to deadhead them in order to encourage growth.

This image of a red verbena strikes me for one reason: it is as beautiful an image I can create of a single verbena , but on its own-solo-I think the real beauty of this flower is lost.  Its nature is not to stand out individually but to wow you in thick groups of contrasting colors falling gracefully over the rims of hanging plants or over the sides of sturdy patio containers.  It is a flower that relates to its neighbors not because it is forced to-but because it needs to: its beauty is not truly visible without others.

Who knew?  I grew up in the “Flower Power” generation.  I don’t think we went deeply enough.  Flowers can teach humans a thing or two.   In July, when my containers have had more than a week of growth, I’ll take another photograph and leave the wisdom of verbena up to you.

©Pat Coakley 2009


16 comments on “Flower University”

  1. Ok, I’ll wait for the group picture! But I still like this one — especially those little shiny droplets of water, and the super-intense red. Your point is well taken though, that an individual’s beauty often becomes more apparent in association with others.

    • Don, I seriously have been looking at composition differently since writing this post. Of course, I have no space on my hard drive to “see” what I have taken but over the weekend, hopefully, I’ll remedy this problem! The boxes have taken a quantum growth spurt in two days and actually there are far more million bells than verbena hanging down! Maybe this shall stand on its own after all!

    • Your hand must be tired from writing that response, NKGEE! You couldn’t have said, “That flower is almost as beautiful as you. Pat.”
      I understand that flower looks fresh and new while I am a bit aged and rumpled. But, still….lying is accepted on this blog. (REaders, he’s my friend of 40 years)

  2. Excellent picture and an even more excellent sentiment.

    • Thanks, dragnmage06…since writing this post, I have looked around at the world in a different way. Composition of photographs have even subtly changed. Thanks for your comment!

  3. yes and the profusion of flowers is dizzying so many so beautiful one has to stop at least one moment to see the verbena and its discinction, btw, the name ‘verbena’ has a feminine nuance and a ‘verb’ (something moves it) in a musical way

    • Tipota, ever since reading your comment, I’ve been saying “verbena” under my breath. I think I may be singing as people are looking at me funny. Only you.

  4. Enlightening analogy and a singularly beautiful isolation of a flower structure I might never have noticed if it had been grouped together with its’ others.
    United we stand, divided we stand out.

    Sounds like you’re well on your way towards summer.

    • Bonnie, I’m well into summer as are my hard drives! I have to go buy another one today as I have no blessed room left for any new images!! I feel like I’m being strangled. Love united we stand, divided we stand out!!

  5. Nice colour but I’m not sure what there is to learn from a flower. They don’t do anything from choice and what we “feel” about them has more to do with our own mental architecture. Perhaps flowers are a colourful surface that we can project ourselves onto.

    Quite often when I see brightly coloured flowers I think of our primitive ancestors who lived in a world of muted natural tones. How magical the intense and pure colours of flowers would’ve appeared to them. I’m sure in the prehistoric world, many of the colours wouldn’t have existed anywhere else but in flowers. Flowers must’ve seemed otherworldly and it’s no wonder that traces of flowers have been found in prehistoric graves.

    • Well, flowers might not seem to possess a kind of will, but I do think they’re wonderfully responsive. What’s more, we’re drawn to them – often compulsively. Just ask Pat.

      • Chris, I like that observation that flowers may not possess will but are wonderfully responsive. That is really true. In fact, my favorite time to photograph flowers is a gray, cloudy, foggy day! They jump out at you.

    • Razz, …traces of flowers in prehistoric graves…. Gulp. That kills me for some reason. Common for today, of course, but in pre-historic times? It makes you think that fragile flowers have been seeped in human longing for a long long time. Only you could give us this tid-bit of information.

  6. Ah, the play between focus and out-of, those delicate blossoms, the flow of water on them, the colors… Some things in nature seem to exist simply to make us feel better.

    • Nava, now..that is so true. They do seem to have one singular mission: to be seen AND that brings us pleasure, even though nothing in our lives have changed. The Philosophy of Flowers!

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