Flower Photography: Color or its Absence, Which Evokes the Stronger Response in You?

orchids, exotic, flora, unusual blooms arboreum

The same flower viewed differently. Do you respond differently? – K’lee L.

I continue the flower theme of recent posts, this time with a side by side/ top/bottom comparison. The first orchid, bought to you by the recently held Pacific Orchid Expo held here in San Francisco, is given a ‘sepia’ toning, removing all color reference. What do you think?

Personally, I can’t seem to mentally or visually get away from the fact of knowing color is missing. This doesn’t stop me from appreciating the flower because to me there’s still lots to be appreciated. I like the shadows, the lighting, the hints at other plants in the immediate background. There’s a somberness, a reserved quality to this photo. Those qualities aren’t good or bad, they simply are.

White lily orchids


Ah, with color restored, this orchid (coincidentally, the same flower as the first, but I know you knew that!) almost seems like a brand new bloom, or does it? It’s not just an interesting question, it’s a complex one, filled with variables one person may deem ‘top priority’, while another deems ‘less so’.

How do I see the original flower in all its colorful glory? An emotional response returns to my equation due to the color’s return. It ‘feels’ right, as Nature intended. I can’t help but feel a little bit… happier in the presence of bright, vibrant colors.

As before, I’d like to hear from any and all who care to express an opinion one way or the other. There is no right or wrong in my humble Obzervashun!

K’lee L. copyright 2015



23 thoughts on “Flower Photography: Color or its Absence, Which Evokes the Stronger Response in You?

  1. The black and white evokes a feeling in me that resonates more deeply than the color. It speaks to a stronger emotion perhaps? The color photo is happy, nice, beautiful – the black and white is harder to put into words. It’s still beautiful to me, but more so because of the stark contrasts. Hmmmm, you’d think as a writer I’d be able to explain it more clearly, lol. But then again, being rendered “speechless” is in its own right, a powerful example of what it is I’m trying to write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then I too an a bit speechless when I say words cannot describe how grateful I am for your answer! Thank you for making time to add to this.
      I see what you mean from both angles: The color is what’s intended by Nature, where as black and white is as you said, much harder to define. It takes the mind and the eye places color usually doesn’t.
      Thank you again, Dana!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laura for making time to reply here! I go back again to my first steps inside the exhibition hall. My sense of being overwhelmed came primarily if not exclusively from all that riotous color. I suppose,now that I’m really thinking about it the exotic shapes of orchids coupled with their unusual coloring is a potent combination!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Josh! Thank you for making time to add your voice to this.
      There’s a lot to be said for being presented with a pallet that allows the mind to ‘fill in the blanks’ so to speak. I’m thinking if we got a hundred people to express what they saw and felt with the same black and white photo, there’d be a hundred different answers!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The color is so beautiful, I have to go with the color here. But the previous black and white you posted was very mysterious and I liked that one quite a bit too. Depends on the flowers and particular image I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for responding to this! Glad the last black and white resonated with you. I’ll post more that maybe I can also get your opinion on? Meanwhile I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in saying, ‘Depends on the flower and particular image.’ Truer words have never been said!


  3. I love both on different levels, as I mentioned before I believe it is a very personal choice when we pick. To add to the topic I would say “color” is the “reality”, B&W or any other monochromatic approach is imagination and creativity unleashed to tease and feed our senses, to create an emotional attachment and make us “feel” visually. Stunning beauties!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As always I thank you for your great comments, Eva! I like your breakdown: ‘color is the reality, while black and white or monochromatic styles are the imagination… causing us to ‘feel’ visually.
      Brilliant, Eva!


  4. I tend to prefer colour. However, there’s a certain mystique about the black and white photo that makes me feel like writing a dark and mysterious poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely respond differently. The first cool white color is beautiful and more seriously, as if the flower is holding back and not at all happy to be gazed upon, since it has more important things to do and think about. The colored one is full of laughter and fun. Enjoys the sun and playing with the other flowers. Full of life and joy, unlike the reserved white flower which looks as if it should be in a noir film of mystery and mayhem. I think it knows more than it’s letting on. LOL I love both of them and think they are wonderful because life is both and there’s room for everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. for me, flowers are color, smell and shape, equally, so I guess that is my answer for this. i do find b+w interesting and very effective for many photos, however

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a fantastic point you’ve made, Robert! I suppose it really isn’t possible to separate the tactile physicality of flowers from their color no matter how brilliant that color is. They’re meant to be enjoyed three dimensionally. And yes, I also agree b&w can add a different and interesting perspective to photos. Excellent answer… thank you!


Leave a Reply to K'lee L. Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s