Green Eye — A Garden in Close-Up
For the last eight years I have been exploring my garden through macro-photography. Macro-photography is the technique of taking photographs that can be blown up to more than life size and opens a whole new world of startling and beautiful images.
I first came to macro-photography when I was on my arts foundation course back in 1977. At the end of the first term we were set a drawing project and I decided to take apart an old broken alarm clock to draw the tiny working parts on A1 sheets of paper. The scaling up of gear wheels and springs transformed the mundane into something that packed a big visual punch. This experience lead me to the camera and the work of Karl Blossfeldt an early pioneer of macro-photography.
Fast forward to 2007 when I purchased my first digital SLR camera and rediscovered my interest in extreme close up. I looked again at Blossfeldt’s extraordinary images and this sparked the idea of producing my own series of close up images of plant material. I decided to use my city centre garden as the source of all the pictures; only what I could find in this patch of land was allowed into the book. Now to be sure I had been tending this garden for a number of years and introduced plants that were not there before, but I did not plant anything exotic for the sake of the project.
Taking these pictures has been as much about learning macro-photographs technique as it has been about capturing the strange and surprising plant forms that often pass unseen in a garden. I decided to take each subject out of its natural context and place it in a neutral space; either a black or white background. Presented in a new way tiny broad bean flowers float like monumental architecture in an infinite black space, the contorted tendrils of the crimson glory vine are like abstract drawings in the air.
As I worked through the seasons and over a number of years I decided that I would publish the images in a book. The result is Green Eye – A Garden in Close Up and you can see a preview of the first fifteen pages of the book below.
More of my photography and links to the book can be found on the web at: