Friday, January 15, 2010

Beauty and the Beetle

This is a photograph I took 2 (?) summers ago at Lake Katherine. I chose this photo because there are a few different formal qualities I can touch on. First off, the contrast between the vibrant color of the flower and the deep, dark color of the beetle is very striking. The deeper, warmer reds recede to the background, which also makes the beetle stand out and POP to the front. Another thing I notice in this photo is the lighting. The highlighting of the petals in the foreground captures the eye of the viewer and then causes the eye to travel to the deeper folds within the flower. The eye travels the same way along the lines of the flower petals. The curvy, organic lines take the viewer's eye from the bottom lefthand corner to the middle of the photograph, and then to the upper righthand corner. The out of focus background gives the viewer a sense of location among other flowers, but also makes the flower that is in focus stand out even more so.
To me, although it may not be obvious, there is a narrative here. There is a lot of mystery that comes across because of the tight crop of the composition and the background that is out of focus. With the background being out of focus it leaves the setting open to the viewer's imagination. It could be in a field of similar flowers, in a vase on someone's living room table, or it could even be a one-of-a-kind pink/red flower among other yellow ones. We don't know! (Well, I do, but you catch my drift.) Also, who knows how the rest of the flower might look?! For all the viewer knows, this could be a multi-colored flower with additional yellow petals. The main character of the photo is the beetle, which is another reason I chose it. I found it rather profound to find this beetle, a creature that most people find creepy and unattractive, to have landed in nature among something as beautiful as this flower. Even though a beetle can be a rather scary and ugly creature, its ugliness is overpowered by the immense beauty of the flower and its look is softened. So now, instead of being something that someone might consider stepping on, the beetle is sleek and cute: something no one would think of harming.

1 comment:

  1. It's a lovely photograph, and I don't think you need to imagine a scenario (although I know that's what you love to do) because it's nice for the viewer to come to this or her own story about it. Your description is excellent, thorough and well-observed.
    I also don't think the beetle has to be either creepy or cute; rather it's in a symbiotic relationship with the flower. The each depend on the other. Neither would be complete without the other.