There are many ways to photograph a subject. One of them is the change the settings on your camera in order to play with over exposure.
Over exposing image separates the highlights from the mid-tones and the mid-tones from darkest darks. This leaves only a partial structure of visible information that can be gathered from the mid-tones down. The lightest lights become pure white, carrying no visual information.
What is great about blowing out the lights is that those areas create a negative space for the darker structures (that can be seen), to play in.
This inevitably creates a graphic quality to the image at hand.
This type of posterization is not only fantastic for flowers, but for just about anything! I even took a look down toward my feet!
When using overexposure it’s very important to pay attention to the dark areas of the image and see how they will create the composition. After all when working with little information, composition is everything. Below is my favorite table at Dumbarton Oaks, a wonderful garden in Washington D.C. I shot this yesterday while tooling around the garden in the high heat. And boy was it hot!
One of my favorite things about this table are the hand carved curves and indents. Over exposing your images leaves just the mid-tones which this case holds all the information regarding these lovely curves. As in this image below!
The cained seats of the chairs here are lovely as well.
I particularly love the chairs and tables here because they are always begging me to bring a board and friend for a chess game! Perhaps on a less hot day, however!
Another cool thing about overexposing your images is that the final product can make the subjects you photograph appear to be covered in snow. Pretty cool!
I particularly love these wrought iron seats. They remind me of the ones from my childhood and overlook a fantastic Rock Garden.
So, next time you head out with camera in hand, experiment a little! Simply change the ASA up higher or your f-stop or shutter speed until you start seeing a lot of white on the back of the digital display. Make sure there is still something to see in the pictures and not an entirely white box! It’s fun to do and you never know what you’ll come up with!