This project, Generations, has been in the making literally for years. The following pairs of photographs present generations of flowers together in a single pot and now, a single frame. Plants, flowers present good metaphors for life. They grow, give buds, blossom, then fade and die. Some may recall my photographs of the dried orchid flowers that eventually gave birth to a full-scale ballet, Orchis. That ballet combined the vitality of ballet dancers with the grace of the dried and dead flower photographs.
The plants in this project have flowered several rounds, sometimes even a second time on the same spent stem. We collected the flowers that fell and preserved the plants with their spent flowers and stems. This went on for several years. When they bloomed again a couple of weeks ago, I thought it was time to photograph the generations of flowers before they all fell and the stems broke. Click on the images to see them in full size.
Generations is also a cross between botanical and still life photography. They are of blossoming orchids as well as their passed ancestors still in the same pot. Their setup is intentionally simple, closer to classical still life than botanical photography, especially with the addition of the fallen dried blossoms in their resting place. The monochrome versions are a salute to the early days of photography with platinum print tonality.
The Cycle of Life
The photographs below present moments from the life cycle of one plant. I photographed it over its life cycle in a documentary fashion, mostly where it happened to be, occasionally pulled a little to use the TV as the background. The titles below the photographs show the capture date, a sign of their longevity, and the inevitability of eventual fall. The last few are views from one and two years from the starting cycle.