I almost never make photographs of flowers. I look forward to the colors of spring and photographing at that time of year. But it's just hard for me to bring a unique view to flower photographs. Then I started thinking, why don't we ever see photographs of flowers in the later stages of life?
Notice I didn't say dead or dying flowers. I think back to a weekend when a friend visited and somehow we got into a long discussion of when something transitions from living to dying. With people and animals we almost never refer to them as dying. We refer to them as living right up to the last moment and we celebrate living right up to the very end. But with plants and flowers, we're quick to refer to them as dying. The first brown blades of grass show up in the lawn after three weeks of no rain - and the grass is dying. We have a vase of flowers on our countertop in the kitchen - and when that first wilted leaf appears Marilyn is ready to throw them out because they are dying. The Kousa Dogwood blossom in the photograph above is living - it just happens to be in a later stage of life.
I've always said that one of the reasons I enjoy photography is it shows me (and my hopefully my family and friends) things they wouldn't normally see. Few people, including myself, look at "dying" flowers. But when you pause and look closely, you will still see the very interesting shapes and forms and lines that make flowers beautiful. They just happen to have a few brown spots and some curled edges. In many ways, it makes them even more interesting.
[Click on any thumbnail to see the full image]