Impressionist Flower Photography

Impressionist Photography of Flowers - Confetti Fields Heart of the Ballet by Charlie Budd The Tall Photographer

As I’ve become older, and beardier, I’ve become more entranced by the potential of impressionist flower photography.

Maybe it’s because I’m starting to look like Monet.

Black and white photograph of Claude Monet in 1899
Charlie Budd in 1899

A Visit to the Confetti Fields

On a recent excursion to the remarkable confetti flower fields with my friend, the photographer Charlotte Doran Davies, my love for blurring reality was just the thing.

Due the hot weather, almost every single bloom in the entire field had ‘gone over’ – they were dry, crinkled and looking rather sad.

The same might be said for some of the other photographers who had gone to snap the glorious blooms – some of them wanted lovely close up photos of the flowers in pristine condition, and none were to be had.

But to me it was a scintillating opportunity to make glorious swirls of colour, to make the flowers dance.

There were strict instructions not to pick any flowers, so I couldn’t swirl the blooms.

Nor could I swirl the dance floor – the field itself.

But I could swirl the viewer, my camera.

At first I was thinking of Monet

Initially, my photographs were, perhaps, more Monet-like – I used very small camera movements to create a slight dancing movement.

Impressionist Flower Photography - Dancing Delphiniums after Monet by Charlie Budd The Tall Photographer
Dancing Delphiniums after Monet
Monet Agapanthus
Monet’s Agapanthus

But then I tried a technique I started using last year in bluebell woods – the twist.

Bluebell Woodland Swirl by Charlie Budd The Tall Photographer - Impressionist Flower Photography
One of my first forays into swirling photography. No photoshop, just twisting the camera as I took the shot.

And then Degas became my inspiration

And as soon as I tried it in the Confetti Fields, I was reminded of ballet dancers.

More specifically, the ballet dancers of Degas.

Dancers by Degas
Ballet Scene in pastel by Degas

He painted them again and again.

 L’Étoile, ou la Danseuse sur Scène
L’Étoile, ou la Danseuse sur Scène

I haven’t always liked these paintings, but there is a certain whimsy about them that I find increasingly appealing.

So my camera danced.

Impressionist Flower Photography - Confetti Fields Principal Dancer and Corps de Ballet by Charlie Budd The Tall Photographer
Confetti Fields Principal Dancer and Corps de Ballet

 

Impressionist Flower Photography - Confetti Fields Heart of the Ballet by Charlie Budd The Tall Photographer
Confetti Fields Heart of the Ballet

 

Impressionist Flower Photography - Principal Ballet Dancer and Posy by Charlie Budd The Tall Photographer
Confetti Fields Principal Ballet Dancer and Posy

 

Impressionist Flower Photography - Pas a Deux by Charlie Budd The Tall Photographer
Confetti Fields Pas a Deux

 

Impressionist Flower Photography - Roaring Ballet Crowd in a Standing Ovation by Charlie Budd The Tall Photographer
Confetti Fields Roaring Ballet Crowd in a Standing Ovation

 

Let me know what you think of my impressionist flower photography.

And let me know whether you’d like me to write a more technical piece about how I make these images.

I’m going to be making test prints of all of these photographs, and more.

If you’re interested in a print for home or workplace, or you’d just like to tell me what you think, do drop me a line on my contact page. 

 

What will I blog about?

What will I blog about?

This is my first blog on my new website. In it I’m going to tell you a story. Just a short one. In fact all my blogs will be stories.

I’ve got blogs planned where I tell a story of a single photograph, others where I’ll include half a dozen photographs to give a flavour of an event.

Other blogs will show you how I created a particular video, or cinemegraph, or photograph, so you can learn the same techniques.

If you like stories, I hope you’ll like my blog.

Here’s the first story.

Idiot

On 31st October I fell from scaffolding and broke my back. My own fault. Idiot.

But I won’t hold it against me. That won’t do anyone any good. It’s all about moving forwards.

I cannot ever fully repay the debt of gratitude I owe to the NHS, from the paramedics (who gave me the entire gas and air supplies of two ambulances, bloody hell that’s good stuff), to the cleaners (helping prevent MRSA and keeping me entertained with family stories while they cleaned the ward), admin staff (making sure everyone and everything is where it needs to be in a huge, spaghettilike organisation), doctors (peeling bone away from my spinal chord, and bolting me back together with, er, surgical precision), nurses (who washed me, laughed with me, gave me lots and lots and lots and lots of drugs, put pills up my bottom, and destapled my back), scanner staff (thanks for Smooth FM in the hot and claustrophobic MRI scanner, I was so relaxed I nearly nodded off), catering staff (black tea, more black tea, more black tea, thank you)… Everyone. They put me Dumpty Humpty back together, with screws, rods, staples (rather a lot), pills, and care.

Family and friends have been hugely supportive. Visits, and cake and more cake, and a vegetable hamper, and more cake (I like cake)… But most of all, sitting with me for hours, talking about anything and everything. We have busy lives, and I find it’s rare to get a few hours, alone with one person, to just chat. It was such a delight.

unnamed.jpg
My Darling Jules, and the title picture of her blog ‘Every Cloud… and all that.

My Darling Jules. She’s my wife in case you don’t know. She’s been through the wringer. She’s written a brilliant blog about it all herself. She was the first on the scene after I’d fallen, and called the ambulance. She was with me through all the most difficult hours. Visited me every day. She didn’t know whether I’d walk again. She kept everything going. Told me what I needed telling. Didn’t tell me what I didn’t need to know. Stiff upper lip and all that, in front of me anyway. I was dangling off a cliff, and she was my emotional safety rope.

Bloody hell I’m lucky.

A New Beginning

I used to earn a living as a full time decorator, but I can’t do that now for at least six months, if at all.

So I’m going to use my skills as a photographer and video producer to earn a living. And this website tells you about that.

My first project is two rather whimsical calendars. I’ve made calendars before, once for charity, and most years I do one for family members. But now I need to do them to earn a living, to pay the mortgage and bills. The images in the calendars are perhaps a little ‘otherworldly’. I’m not totally sure what that says about me.

My next plans are to develop a video production business. That may sound grand, but it’s not. I’ve got all the kit I need to get started, and the skills that I’ve developed over the past few years.

I’m going to concentrate on making short films for small businesses. Telling stories which connect with people. Small, simple, intimate productions. I’m already working on a few projects, but the calendar project has used up all the stationary-arse-computer time I can manage at the moment. (I have nerve damage in my buttocks. I know you wanted to know. So I told you.)

I’ll start editing a few videos in January 2018. I can’t wait. I bloody love video.

I’m going to fiddle with this website over the following months, give it a new hairstyle perhaps, and a decent diet of stories…

That’s it for now.

Time for a cup of tea?