Mike’s idea is that, just like people, certain flowers are simply more characterful than others. Just as some people can be rather dull, so can some flowers. And, just as some people can have bags of charisma, so can certain flowers.
When he goes out shooting, Mike is always on the lookout for what he calls these “Lady Gaga flowers”: the ones with the bold colors and eye-catching appearance; the ones that scream, “Look at me!”
Intrigued by Mike’s idea –and, to be honest, when it comes to macro photography, I’m intrigued by a lot of Mike’s ideas – I have started seeking out these show-off flowers myself.
Shooting at the Rawlings Conservatory in Baltimore this afternoon, I happened upon this queen protea (protea neriifolia) shrub, where one of the petals had folded down over the centre of the flower head, giving the flower an unusual, intriguing look. It really grabbed my attention and drew me in to photograph it.
Another characterful flower that I found last Spring was this tiny lilac tulip. It was smaller than all other tulips around it, only half-grown and with a thin, reedy stem. It had wrapped its petals around the stem of a much taller, stronger-stemmed tulip growing nearby, as if to ask, “I’m only little. Can you please support me while I’m growing up?”
Sometimes, it’s the things that flowers do, rather than the way they look, that give them personality. This purple tulip was in the early stages of dying. Its stem had lost its strength and the flower had become top-heavy, so the bulb had toppled over. On its way down, the bulb fell against the leaves of a still-healthy tulip nearby and had become wedged there. The flower looked like it was taking a temporary rest on its way down to die. It was a pitiable sight, crying out not so much for attention as for sympathy: a tiny scene within a large flower bed that seemed to encapsulate the imminent passing of Spring.