Thursday, January 19, 2012

January freestyle workshop at Amethyst

There was lean attendance for this month's workshop. It was held at the Amethyst.  It was a freestyle workshop.  Many of the arrangements were done in the Amethyst's glass vases and basket containers, and the members left the arrangements behind for display at the flower shop.  The use of oasis in flat containers was a challenge to the flower artists, as we usually use kenzans, and a lot of its surface had to be covered with materials. That was a learning experience too.

Sitalaksmi brought a new white jar shaped ceramic vase with an interesting design on its surface.  As usual, it was wonderful to see the members' enthusiam and interest to be working with flowers.

-  Malathi

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Experimenting with light and background - November workshop

November 2011 Sogetsu Study Group workshop

Sorry for the late report - it is a couple of months overdue, but the holiday festivities delayed the putting together of the report!

As we look at Ikebana increasingly as an art form, we decided that it was time to understand and study other related concepts to enhance our compostions.  So, the workshop was dedicated to very simple aspects pf photographing Ikebana, and the elements to be taken care of.

All of usare at the moment comfortable with point-and-shoot automatics, and/or our phone cameras.  So, this was not about shutterspeed and aperture so much as about light, background and composition.

Here are some of the experiments of the study group members.

Chitra used the plain white wall as background and experimented with square vs round placemats and the effect it has on the composition.  The photograph was taken with a flash, and this has thrown dark corners at the extremities of the picture.

Prerana worked with different backgrounds, highlighting how the same composition can look so different when plced in front of different colours.  These were taken with her phone camera.


Ambika made a short presentation with examples of poor composition, insufficient lighting, clumsy background, cluttered tabletops, etc, to illustrate the effect they have on the overall composition.

The series below show the effect of extra light coming from different angles, and the effect they have on compostion, as well as the use of flash on the colours of the flowers. However, when cloth is used as a background, thecreases do show badly, when we try to use a single backdrop both under the vase and behind.

With the help of a amatuer photographer, a "studio" was set up and the background in the series above is photo paper, where the "wrinkles" problem is removed.  The middle picture used a flash, which reflected off the vase, which was averted in the third picture by putting the flash "off".

The series below uses rexine as a backdrop - once again the crease problem.

All photos have been taken in the auto mode. Various presets were experimented with as also, flash on/off.