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Ultra Large Format Photography Diary – Revisiting Floral Still Life

I got up this morning and headed over to the darkroom as planned.

I got the 8×20 ULF camera on the tripod and gathered a few things I know I will need to do some floral still life indoors.

I am headed to the local Dollar Store to purchase some floral vases I need to pick up for a commissioned piece of artwork I am creating for a collector in New York. While there, I picked up a hot glue gun and some black and white art boards.

I want to pursue a floral abstract composition for this new work, but I don’t know what I want until I get into it and let the emotion and the experience guide me. I may do a few floral still life for my Broken, But Still Connected project that I shared with you yesterday.

As I thought about it last night and this morning, I am going to play around with the concept of breaking apart the flower and then gluing pieces of it to a sheet of translucent vellum paper to help me get closer to the abstract idea.

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I think that I can tape this vellum paper with the flowers glued on it to an LED light table and then place that table horizontally to be able to create the exposure easily.

I think the composition of the flower parts that I plan to glue to the vellum paper is critical because it is a direct metaphor for the broken concept of the narrative.

I am not sure which flowers I will use yet, but I know that I am researching the meanings of several different flowers to help connect the type of flower to the work’s narrative. This will all come later because, for now, I am focused on trying different things until I resolve my final plan.

I want to start with a high-key white background (vellum on LED light tablet) because I think it may help support my narrative, suggesting purity and innocence. Abby was a young woman, just starting her life when it ended abruptly without notice or any warning. She was driving home from school when the accident happened. I often think about how she had no idea when she woke up that morning that she would never make it home that day. It literally crushes my soul to have these thoughts.

One of the things that I do during my creative exploration is to try and exact opposite and see if that approach works any better or not. In some cases, it has worked in the past. In this case, I will probably try and put the flowers on a jet-black background as opposed to the pure white that I am trying first. The black background could also support part of my narrative by serving as a metaphor for the broken and dark emotions.

I won’t know until I go through the process of creating these scenarios, and it will be obvious to me when I arrive at the right solution.

I will share more as I start to make progress and start trying to build out a basic composition with the new supplies.

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