Tag Archives: flowers

Natural Sculptures

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A few years back I met Bess Wyrick. She was doing a floral instillation in Gramercy Park’s Rose Bar — a giant hanging skeleton made from white flowers. I had always thought about flowers in the sense of arrangements but never really in the form of a live sculpture. There is something I really love about the idea of creating art that can only last and be appreciated for a short amount of time before its organic nature recycles back into the earth. An amazing example of that is in the whimsical work of Patrick Dougherty which blows me away.

Whenever Bess is in New York we try to collaborate. Most recently I asked Caroline to come by the studio and pose for me, something we have been doing together for years now. Bess, being the sculptor she is, created this spring garden nymph moment around Caroline’s delicate body which, to me, is reminiscent of the fleeting weeks when we get to dance under the pink shade of the cherry blooms before nature moves on to the green gardens of summer.

This May I’m going to be heading out to L.A. to spend a weekend retreat at Rose Story Farm (remember how we had roses shipped from them for this beautiful shoot?!) with Bess doing a workshop on flower arranging and creative expression. It’s going to be a lovely group of women, so think about joining us if you out in L.A.! More info on the workshop can be found here.

Happy Spring!

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Dying Flowers

Still life of dying flowers photographed by Jamie Beck at Ann Street Studio

This weekend I was gathering up all of the dying flowers in their arrangements around the studio to throw away and be replaced with new, young, fresh varieties I would pick up on my errands about town. As I pulled these out of the vase I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful they were in their delicate paper thin skin, and how sculptural the leaves had become. To me, they took on the form of dancers, if dancers were caught in a gust of wind and then frozen in time at that perfect expressive moment…

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more natural beauty…

Butterfly & the Bell Jar || Winter Flowers || Simplicity || Forever Roses

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Miss Penelope

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Young love is a complicated thing, especially for the darling Miss Penelope. Though everyone knows she is promised to Dirk Janson – a match to align two of the most affluent families on the East Coast, a dream couple to spend their lives on the glossy pages of society magazines – she dreams of another: a quiet man with mystery, with a different upbringing than her own. She hears his song in the garden as he warms up for that evening’s dazzling lawn party and asks herself – should she go to him, the one who makes her heart happy or can she keep these feelings a secret for all of time? After all – Dirk Janson is the most eligible bachelor of them all.

Miss Penelope knows the power of beauty…and of mysteries. To whom does her happy heart truly belong? Well…that’s one of the best kept #ChopardSecrets of all…

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At her vanity Miss Penelope wears Chopard’s Happy Diamond Collection // Vintage feather dress

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In the garden Miss Penelope wears Chopard’s Happy Diamond Collection // Lela Rose Gown // Louboutin flats

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Miss Penelope played by Dahlia // Shot on location at Old Westbury Gardens by Ann Street Studio // Styled by Kelly Framel // Props by Zio & Sons // Makeup by Ashlee Glazer // Hair by Justin Woods // Manicurist Katie Hughes for Butter London // All watches and high jewelry provided by Chopard

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Film vs. Digital

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I‘m often asked in interviews the difference between film vs. digital, if film is dead, and how I choose which medium I want to shoot with. Film photography will always be a part of my life. It was how I was raised to take pictures; it is my roots in photography. It feels different to take a photograph on film than on digital even though so much of what they accomplish is the same.

When I shoot on film I am looking for a depth to the final image…quite simply, I find film images to have a soul. Maybe that has something to do with how you take the picture. We go through thousands of digital photographs weekly which feels like the next image diminishes the value of the one before. With film, even when I feel like I’m shooting a lot, it is only in the hundreds and when I push that shutter release each time, that shot is thought-out, composed, and one where I waited for that perfect moment. My friend Adam who had a show this past fall at the Sasha Wolf Gallery said if he ever had to teach a class in digital he’d make his students shoot on camera cards that only hold 36 frames to train them to think about each shot.

However, digital has this beautiful clarity, this “reach out and touch it” ability that I find so beautiful. The velvety texture of flower petal, the saturation of color in a blushing rose. Digital puts you there, in the moment, feeling the light, and seeing even what the human eye can’t. The speed with which we can capture, document and share with digital photography is so astonishing. Recently I tweeted, “Every two minutes, we take more pictures than the whole of humanity in the 1800s.” I alway say, photography is a right, not a privilege, and thanks to digital that has never been more true.

On a day where I just don’t want to sit at a computer editing or writing emails, or I need a break to get in the zone creatively, I find my favorite thing to do is photograph flowersFlowers represent so much about life to me: the beauty, the aging, the individuality and sexuality. I wanted to illustrate the difference between film and digital, so on my last flower study I took (as close as possible!) the same photograph on a digital Leica M with macro lens and then again on a 4×5 Toyo View Camera on Ilford Delta 100 ISO black and white film. I used natural light and did a variety of shots using different F-stops for a varying depth of field.

You tell me what you prefer: Film or Digital?

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Simple natural light setup in our studio, white textured cardboard background. Above, using the shutter cable release to avoid my hand shaking on the shutter release, which  causes motion blur. Most of the 4×5 exposures were between 30 secs and one minute. Below, focusing view on the 4×5 ground glass. 

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The outcome. 

at f/45

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