My adventure with dandelions started in March 2011. It was a beautiful autumn day. Fluffy white clouds were slowly rolling across the bright, blue sky. I was just preparing my next photographic workshop and desperately needed more macro images. Luckily for me, my husband hadn’t mown the lawn for a while. So when I went outside in search of my next photographic subject I spotted a few dandelions in the corner of my backyard.
My goal was to create a series of images that would capture the ever changing, natural light and I thought that the transparent nature of a dandelion clock held the potential for a variety of images. Also the delicate, intricate patterns of the plant make a great subject for close-up photography. Of course I had photographed dandelions before, but this time something special happened, something mysterious and elusive that set me on my journey to discover the secret life of dandelions.
With each click of the shutter button, I was getting to know my subject more fully and opening my eyes to new ways of seeing. I realized that there is almost unlimited numbers of ways to photograph a single thing. Dandelions became my obsession. Always inviting me to look closely at them and explore them even further. And through each of my encounters, I felt more intimate, more familiar with their wispy nature.
As the time went on, I noticed that my images started to change. I was no longer interested in just recording what I saw. My pictures started to look more abstract. Slowly I started to create simpler images and I used less colour. Fragile fluffy dandelions were transformed into bold shapes, strong lines, and interesting textures.
My work became more deliberate, more focused, more confident. I could express my thoughts and moods through my images and I began to feel like there was more of me in my work.
Every time I thought, ‘This is it. I can’t create anything new and different’, somehow new ideas would come. I couldn’t wait to pick up my camera to see what else my dandelions were going to reveal to me.
My work has become more personal. I have learned about myself through my art and vice versa.
I have learned to trust myself. Thanks to dandelions I have gained a lot of new skills, discovered new possibilities, and started new projects. I have discovered that each photoshoot is another step in my own artistic development.
I can tell you from my experience, that with every photoshoot you will learn to be more observant and selective, which will in turn help you to be more deliberate and concise in your expression of ideas. You will be able to say what you wish, combining your new skills with greater artistic freedom. Your ideas won’t be limited by a weak visual vocabulary, and you will say more. Every image will bring you understanding of how light affects form, how composition is built, and how the shapes, lines, and colours relate to one another.
My Other Dandelions Projects
Presentation – DANDELIONS (check it out by clicking here)
Book – THE SECRET LIFE OF DANDELIONS (check it out by clicking here)
Exhibition – WATER REVEALED (see the opening event here)
You may also like my A Voyage of Discovery article
I’d love to hear about your photography project and what you have learned from it in the comments below.