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Creating Botanical Portraits: Simplicity

By: Barbara Ellison

January 19, 2017

Simplicity. The word alone brings to mind serenity, peacefulness, uncluttered and uncomplicated visions. I relate this to going into your workspace and clearing it out of everything except the essentials.

This is the case of less is more. By isolating the subject, a single flower, you are stating that it holds tremendous importance.

A simple bud in the garden, a single rose in a vase. The simplicity gives your eye a place to rest.



The use of negative space plays an important part in the creation of a “simple” image. Negative space, that has no detail, allows the viewer to lock in to the subject, instead of getting caught up in backgrounds.


Isolating the azalea bud, and anchoring it into the photo while showing the structure of the stem and leaves, still has that feeling of simplicity. The dark falloff of the background shrub keeps it a simple image.


Simplicity does not require a solid color background. In this image of the floral bouquet, the worn wooden table and chairs brings with it a sense of place. The image was photographed in Cape Hatteras, NC, on a deck of a guesthouse. Because the background colors were muted, your eye goes immediately to the vase of flowers. Simplicity.


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