Category Archives: Ex 5.2

Ex 5.2 – An Homage, a Response

Cala lillies are peculiarly graceful flowers, the shapes of the petals following classic Fibonacci lines.  Being white they can reflect subtle light and show their shape in a very elegant fashion.  They have been subjects for two photographers whose work I find particularly engaging: Robert Mapplethorpe and Imogen Cunningham.


Imogen Cunningham


Robert Mapplethorpe

These are in B&W, which would be my inclination also, but in trying to explore different approaches I’ve kept this in colour:


They were lit simply with window light through a muslin curtain and a little bit of reflector fill from the lower right.  110mm (equiv) lens stopped right down to f16 to gain some depth of field.  The contact sheet shows the settings but not the aperture which was the same in each case.  I was a bit disappointed with the lilies’ performance, exuberance-wise; they remained stubbornly furled despite being left in the sun.  They cost £4.50 each as well, but I expect they’ll last a while on the window sill!

As for earlier homages I’ve had periods of interest in street photography in the past – here are a couple of my images from the Spanish city of Cartagena:

                                                         DSCF6598        DSCF6637

These fall easily into the run-of-the-mill street categories of perspective humour and poster incorporation.  They are quite amusing for a time but they don’t have any staying power and although I have quite a collection I now find them rather dull.   The Spanish like to talk in close proximity and become deeply involved in their conversation, which makes photographing them quite easy – one is rarely noticed.

Going much further back into my personal archive (how grown-up to think of it now as an archive; only last year it was a folder!) I unearth this image from around 2004:


I recall being amused by the fact that the fencing had no sides but at the time I had no idea I was treading closely behind Mssrs Strand and Ormerod thus:

strand_the_white_fence_port_kent_1916    picket fence

Paul Strand ~ White Fence, Port Kent, New York 1916                                                                           Michael Ormerod: Untitled, Undated