My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

Embracing My Softer Side


"Stepping Into A Floral World"

“Stepping Into A Floral World”

Inspiration, whether it be stumbled upon, pushed toward or forced into, can be a powerful motivator. My ever-increasing thirst for improvement led me to discover a photographer named Mike Moats. I was instantly pulled in by his compositions, both found and created, which he called “Tiny Landscapes”. His laid back approach inspired me to look closer when shooting an event in the field and at home.

The next step in my learning how to walk, through this type of photography, came more like a big push… or ‘shove’ towards what was actually in front of me all along. This enlightenment came when I was privileged to attend a solo showing by fellow photographer Pat Worley. Her creative eye on what could be done with flowers, light and most of all one’s take on art, was electrifying, to say the least. Seeing prints blossom from the almost mystical to up close and personal, was the final nudge for me to explore what I had overlooked in the past.

I jumped in with both feet, and a couple of not so gentle hands, by taking a workshop with Denise Ippolito. Two things drew me to this choice… one being the venue, Longwood Gardens, which was a place I had never shot or even visited, and the second being Denise. I knew she had a strong vision of what she liked to create, but what took me by surprise was how impactful this vision would be on my photography. The many teachable moments and discussions she presented, were priceless, as it opened my mind and lens to endless compositions. Denise, Joe and Lou led by example and guidance throughout this venture for me into a secluded, but extensive living environment. Their familiarity with the place, was enriched by them also being outstanding creatives themselves, helped me to find not just the standard shot, but forced me to look further and to think outside of my self-imposed box. The true test of any teacher / leader is not just about their portfolio, but what they can share and inspire in others… Denise is a true teacher.

Having been tripped, pushed and forced to see what others already knew about flower photography… this softening of my ‘edges’ has truly reinforced my mantra of to always be willing to grow and learn, but most of all… create.


20 responses

  1. Looking at your amazing photos here I can see, how inspiring this workshop has been!
    I am inspired by your photos – I recently bought a macro lens – only tried it a few times – but NOW I have to get started again!

    Liked by 1 person

    May 24, 2015 at 6:14 pm

  2. Absolutely stunning images mike! The color, texture, and composition- Perfect!!


    May 3, 2015 at 9:10 am

  3. Wonderful work, Mike. I think that your “softer side” shows up in much of your work, excepting maybe the mudder series. But even there I remember the father and son scenes. Anyway, flowers are terrific fun and I need to get down with them again. Here’s one from last week in Savanna. not soft and fuzzy but striking.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 1, 2015 at 11:13 am

    • That get down comment seemed humorous to me as getting up from that position seems harder each year. I keep experimenting and that is a nod to many in our club like yourself who seem to explore and inspire me to do the same…. thanks Ralph!!!!


      May 1, 2015 at 9:16 pm

  4. These are all quite beautiful. Many “flower” photos are not that interesting, but these are exquisite.


    April 27, 2015 at 9:36 am

  5. Shelly Cortes

    Beautiful shots! You have such amazing talent…


    April 25, 2015 at 11:29 am

  6. Stunning set. And, had no idea poppies came in blue, too…

    Liked by 1 person

    April 25, 2015 at 6:38 am

    • Me too Alessandro!!! It was beautiful to just be among the beauty there.


      April 25, 2015 at 9:14 pm

  7. sharon

    Your pictures are awesome!!!


    April 24, 2015 at 3:58 pm

  8. Dear Mike,

    Every time I see your work I am inspired to work harder to improve my processing skills and to develop a stronger vision. So when I read your post, I was truly humbled. You are a very talented photographer and I feel privileged to have inspired you in some way. I imagine that we will continue to help one another just as we have over the last four years.

    After looking through all of you beautiful images, I’d say my favorite is the blue poppy peaking through the petals. Wonderful work.



    April 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm

  9. I knew you were a big softie ( : But honestly these are SIMPLY gorgeous


    April 23, 2015 at 7:53 am

  10. Mike, You are a talented and dedicated photographer. Thank you for your kind words and I look forward to working with you again this weekend. Your images are all lovely. The first pink lily is my fave!!


    April 23, 2015 at 6:56 am

  11. Hey Mike. Thanks for the insight and inspiration. I’ve always avoided floral photography, and Longwood Gardens, for all the wrong reasons. Now I see that it isn’t just about capturing flowers, it can be a compositional playground as well. Beautiful set of photographs, by the way.


    April 23, 2015 at 6:52 am

  12. Lisa S.

    Very lovely


    April 23, 2015 at 6:16 am

  13. Mike,

    What took you so long.



    April 22, 2015 at 11:23 pm

  14. I was a little taken aback with the price of the workshop, but I am intrigued to explore the fruits of your journey. The images are lovely, Mike. I am following your lead, and exploring these options. Thank-you for sharing!


    April 22, 2015 at 10:48 pm

  15. Beautiful Mike; Jan


    April 22, 2015 at 10:29 pm

  16. jopat700

    Just wonderful, Mike! I love going to Longwood Gardens and I have really wanted to take a class with Denise Ippolito. Beautiful new discoveries. Also, congratulations on your 2 nines last night!


    April 22, 2015 at 10:05 pm

  17. Pat

    Beautiful work.


    April 22, 2015 at 5:55 pm

  18. beautiful and elegant images!


    April 22, 2015 at 5:50 pm

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