Celebrity portrait photographer Lynn Goldsmith turns to a new subject, flowers, in this interesting book. As Donald Sultan comments in his introduction, this is "an entirely new and compelling way of experiencing this classic subject." Each image is "shot in natural light with a macro lens from unexpected angles." The purpose: "I don't want to be looking at the flower, I wanted to be in it."
Donald Sultan feels the results are "a tribute to the minimalist and abstract expressionist schools." The work "imparts a sense of digital eroticism to the color which is at once referential and intensely real."
Lynn Goldsmith says, "I desired to create a highly subjective impression [of flower as] . . . the transcendental image . . . ."
Personally, I found the work to be a little too dreamy for my taste. Maybe I'm just used to seeing flowers be very realistically portrayed. As a result, I liked the more realistic images the best. The ones that looked like an early Farber nude didn't appeal to me very much (and neither do the soft Farber nudes).
A number of the images are portrayed over two oversized pages. The crease in the middle often interferes with the center of the composition.
The best part of this book is that the flowers chosen display extremely vibrant colors.
During a creativity class I took with author Dan Wakefield, we did an exercise where we observed a single flower and wrote down everything about it. I was astonished at how much I could see. In these images, I saw something that I missed in that exercise . . . the subtle way that colors shift from one shade to another across the same portion of the flower. That's the unique gift of Lynn Goldsmith's vision here.
My favorites include: Polo Rose; Flax; Anemone (purple); Regal Geranium; Heather; Anemone (red); Amaryllis; Cattleya Orchid; Pansy; Blushing Bride; Pincushion Protea; Delphinium; and Thistle.
You may also find the angles chosen to be interesting. As someone who regularly looks at flowers from a close distance, I did not find them to be very novel. Just imagine that you are a bee, and that's what you will be seeing.
After you finish enjoying this breath of spring (no matter what the season), I suggest that you consider what else would look quite different from very close up (or very far away). Then take the time to vary your viewing distance to capture those perspectives. You might start with something attractive like a geode and work on to more mundane objects.
Learn to really see!
What did you learn?