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  • Writer's pictureTina Witherspoon

Fine Art Photography: Painterly Flowers

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

I spent a few days watching Creative Live videos focused on a new way of looking at photography — at least for me. Using selective focus to create an image that almost looks like a painting. By using a shallow depth of field and positioning your subject very carefully, the background starts to blur and look almost like paint strokes. Kathleen Clemons Photography's classes are truly inspiring, not only for the images she shares which look so much like paintings, but for her positive and supportive attitude that artistic license is up to the individual.

Looking back through images from the last few years, I’ve taken a number of photos that would be considered “painterly” or “fine art” that I liked, but never shared. Now when I can't find a portrait subject or design element to photograph, I can just take a walk through nature looking to capture a painterly portrait. And it's not just for flowers! There are tiny universes growing exquisitely shaped branches and leaves that I have often overlooked.

Kathleen uses a Lens Baby pretty often — there are several types — and the effects are stunning. It's on my list to try them out. But it's also a good challenge to try to create the Lens Baby effect with a regular lens. I like a challenge!

I just love the vibrant color in this image. It looks like I might have color toned it in photoshop, but it's how it looked in camera. The foreground branches and the background leaves are all the same tree.

I also really like to isolate one stem and really draw the focus. This plant was growing along the fence so there were stems every few feet, which allowed me to get the same color blurred in the background.

These beautiful yellow flowers — Brown Eyed Susans? — were for sale outside the Thriftway on Vashon and I just snapped a couple of frames, not thinking they would turn out so good. But this image looks to be the most "painterly" to me. There's something about it that really looks like paint brush strokes.

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