The Calla Lily

This is the kind of photo that makes me smile. A very clean and simple composition. Subtle colors. Smooth curves. It’s my personal metaphor for life. :) Simplify. Life’s complicated, right? You are busy and stressed and you feel like you can’t keep up with everything that needs to get done… but if you step back and look at what you are doing, there are so many things that are entirely unnecessary. If you can let some of them go, every now and then you might find a moment that is uncluttered. Clean and free and open. That’s what I’m trying to create when I shoot. I’m trying to get rid of the clutter so that I can see what’s hiding within it.

The last time we were in California, I headed into the tall grasses along Highway 1 to shoot the Lilies. They are huge and beautiful – and irresistible. :) I did take a few portrait shots of the flowers, but I was more interested in finding details. Like this beautiful curve. I wanted to show the incredible shape and smooth color… so I let the background go nice and soft to allow the flower to take center stage. The depth of field is very narrow, so I placed my subject parallel to the plane of focus. That way, I could get more of the flower in focus. I let the focus fade out just slightly along the edge of the petal as it curled open, because I love that smooth softness. A diagonal composition adds just a little bit of life to the shot – and accentuates the curve.

I used a small diffuser to soften the light – making sure that the light in the background was also softened – and checked my histogram to be sure I wasn’t blowing out my highlights. And I made sure the tip of the flower was absolutely sharp.

Post processing was pretty easy. Just a quick color correction, and a very small amount of contrast to bring out those subtle colors. And then done.

This minimalistic moment was brought to you by little ol’ me. I hope you enjoy it!

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