On Close-up Story Telling

By |2012-07-01T12:23:25+00:00Jun 25th, 2012|

It has been a few Mondays since I tossed in a little ditty for the wonderful #MacroMonday  series, curated by our G+ lovelies, +Kerry Murphy, +Kelli Seeger Kim and +Jennifer Eden.

I nabbed this image yesterday after a fantastic shoot over at Ruckel Creek Falls with +Nicole S. Young and +David Daniels. The trail was lined with hundreds and hundreds of colorful flowers, which made finding the right shot both fun and challenging. On one hand, you want to have some nice visual directionality for your viewers but you also don’t want to confuse them by throwing too much in between those four walls.

I originally felt content with just filling the frame with a single flower but then quickly felt that it was lacking in any sort of story to tell. That’s when I noticed that, with this particular flower in the lower third of the frame, if I tilted the camera upward a bit, I was able to get some neighboring petal action going. It instantly gave me the impression of two possible stories:

1. This one flower was being shunned and outcasted from his (or her) people. Dramatic and moody, no?


2. This one flower is a protector or guardian of his (or her) people. I like the way the flower face is particularly looking upward at you, as if in defiance.

So, I thought the method of getting this image was an interesting little tidbit of anecdotal backstory worth sharing. The main point here is that before you plan on getting that first exposure, pay a few minutes of mind to what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you out to simply portray an object to your viewers? If so, then carry on – there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

However, if you’re out to convey a story with the objects in your frame, did you take the time to figure out what that story is and how you can best tell it within your image(s).

In terms of processing
Very, very simple stuff here. Just two textures – Rice Paper Light and Warm Concrete, both found in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software. I then added some tone boosts and basic adjustments in Lightroom 4.1

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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  1. Mandy Sloan June 25, 2012 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Fantastic, +Brian Matiash!

  2. Jordan Oram June 25, 2012 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Standing out from the crowd ;)

  3. Jason Rykiss June 25, 2012 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Beautiful image +Brian Matiash and I agree with everything you just mentioned. This totally tells more of a story than if it was just a close up of the same flower.

  4. Brian Matiash June 25, 2012 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Cheers, +Jason Rykiss et al.!

  5. Nicole S. Young June 25, 2012 at 9:52 am - Reply

    I like option #2 … Badass daisy FTW! :)

  6. Kelly-Shane Fuller June 25, 2012 at 10:31 am - Reply

    I love the simplicity of this one. Weirded out by your whole becoming one with nature thing lately though ;)

  7. Richard Hawkins June 25, 2012 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Really interesting composition. Well done!

  8. Clive Camm June 25, 2012 at 11:18 am - Reply

    The stories add so much to the photo. Perhaps the flower in the foreground is the pioneer, establishing a new settlement.

  9. Brian Matiash June 25, 2012 at 11:21 am - Reply

    +Clive Camm I like that idea, too. :)

  10. Kelli Seeger Kim June 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    And I like thinking of her as a leader, not one of the sheep.  A trailblazer, unworried about what others think of her.  She's just that cool.  *grin*

    Love the shot!  And a very insightful post, +Brian Matiash!

  11. Steve Bottoms June 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Just curious, but what did you meter on, the center of the flower?  Or a grey card, or… ?

  12. Brian Matiash June 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    +Steve Bottoms I metered off of an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport.

  13. Steve Bottoms June 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Ah, I was thinking about that.  :)  Mine's somewhere below Mt Tallac in Tahoe on the trail…  ;-)

  14. Michael Crerar June 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Definitely option #2!  Cool setup in this shot.

  15. Kerry Murphy June 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Love!  I love both variations of the story and my first sense before reading your words was that there was some whispering going on by that group in the back. :)

  16. Laurent Coppée June 26, 2012 at 6:04 am - Reply

    Great, and oh so thoughtful, post Brian! I'd go for number 2 :-)
    It's interesting how you managed to trigger some thinking behind what could have been just anther flower shot, had you chosen to show us just on flower. Great processing too :-)

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