"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Mums on Black

Mums on Black

From “On Seeing a Painting by Bradley Walker Tomlin” in Ground Work: Selected Poems and Essays 1970-1979 by Paul Auster:

Always the smallest act

in this time of acts

larger than life, a gesture
toward the thing that passes

almost unseen. A small wind

disturbing a bonfire, for example,
which I found the other day
by accident

on a museum wall. Almost nothing
is there: a few wisps
of white

thrown idly against the pure black
background, no more
than a small gesture
trying to be nothing

more than itself. And yet
it is not here
and to my eyes will never become
a question
of trying to simplify


For this post, I took a selection of photos from my midwinter mums series and recreated them on black backgrounds. I had only intended to do a handful, but ended out with several handfuls instead — getting a bit carried away when I saw that these flowers looked especially good on black. There were some challenges here: where I left the delicate, parsley-like leaves in the photos, much detailed brushing was necessary in Lightroom to keep them intact. And because the leaves tend to be toward the back of the scene and less focused, I also darkened the color green so that out-of-focusness doesn’t distract from the rest of the image.

It’s been a month of mums! The posts featuring the original versions of these photos are Midwinter Mums (1 of 6), Midwinter Mums (2 of 6), Midwinter Mums (3 of 6), Midwinter Mums (4 of 6), Midwinter Mums (5 of 6), and Midwinter Mums (6 of 6).

Thanks for taking a look!


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