following the blooms

July 09, 2023  •  3 Comments

Since I have been immersed during the last month in flower photography, specifically photographing peonies, it seemed appropriate to follow the peony blooms for one more week.  The blooms are long gone from the garden and the vase, but they remain visually alive, courtesy of cameras and technology.

Nearly every photo shoot I do involves some sort of backdrop for the subject, whether it is natural or human made.  To photograph the peonies featured in today's blog, I chose three colors as possibilities - grey, white, and black.  Two different black fabrics were used.  All three colors demonstrate how different a subject can be, dependent on texture and color of a backdrop.

The first two photographs show why so many photographers use a neutral grey for portraiture of any kind.  It is soft and capable of producing a lush color spectrum.

peony on grey 2 2023peony on grey 2 2023  


peony on grey 1 2023peony on grey 1 2023


White changes everything. The pink peony in the first photograph below  (which reminds me of the artwork of Charles Rennie Macintosh - architect, designer, and artist - who influenced Art Nouveau and the Secessionist Movement) has a pink tinge to it.

peony on white 3 2023peony on white 3 2023

White on white has a lightness to it that is completely different from the grey.

peony on white 1 2023peony on white 1 2023

peony on white 2 2023peony on white 2 2023


Finally, black can be quite dramatic when used as a backdrop.  It is bold and pulls the eye from the backdrop, leaving only the subject for the viewer to peruse, as shown here, and in the image of the base of the peony.  

peony on black 2 2023peony on black 2 2023

peony on black 4 2023peony on black 4 2023

I "pulled" the shadows a bit in the image below to show just a hint of the texture provided by the black lace fabric.

peony on black 3 2023peony on black 3 2023


Despite the fact that it was the 4th of July weekend, many of you commented on last week's blog including Mary Pat., Ann A., TTT, Terry T., Jean & Sam, Lucia, Christina, Steve, Marilyn G., Carol and Larry M., Barbara F. R., Robert, and Pauli.  Your comments are very much appreciated!  By the way, "Seating for One" seemed to be your favorite from the entrants for Shadow and Light Magazine.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©


Lawrence Jones(non-registered)
My vot would be for the grey background, but all of them are really warm and rich.
Color and petal DRAMA, again. Your specialty.
Steve Immel(non-registered)
It's tough to choose a favorite background since all of them work beautifully. Th white treatment is delicate, and light filled. The grey is more emphatic, and the black seems to push the flower's colors the most. So, if push comes to shove, I vote for the black backdrop. It seems to give more roundness or volume to the bloom and the colors are simply brilliant. Those three are among the best florals I've ever seen! Pulling the shadows has performed some kind of magic. The last image feels as if it's reaching out of the frame.

You've taken your work with flowers to a new level with this grouping, Daryl.
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