The late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once said, ‘I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before.’ This is the exact notion anyone will have when opening ‘Enlightened Blooms:
Solarized Floral Diptych Photographs By Brad Oliphant, published by Glitterati Incorporated. This is the photographer’s first published book of photography.
Oliphant, an accomplished former fashion photographer, decided to switch gears for this book. This time, he turned his gaze onto the classical subject of flowers. But, through his lens, he manages to create pure drama! Just feast your eyes on the breathtaking amaryllis flower below (pic 1).
The genius behind this photographer’s floral pictures is solarization. This is his chosen transformative process. First, Oliphant chooses to desaturate the flowers’ colors, rather than intensifying them. Creating the perfect black-and-white canvas, he’s able to closely examine their forms + textures. At first glance, a lot of his work reminded me of hand-painted photos from the early nineteenth century.
Sure, the pervasiveness of computer software like Photoshop, being used on every type of photograph, from
making someone slimmer to creating the perfect sunset on your less than a glamorous holiday, Oliphant is a photographer that has taken it to a whole new level. His unique approach to flowers is one to marvel over. According to Russell Hart, the former Executive Editor of American Photo magazine
As I see it, Oliphant’s flower work displays a true artistic + technical mastery, one that stems from the picture. Given the images’ technical perfection, in fact, I’m incredulous that nearly all of them are made in the field, where so many variables must be controlled. Light, as important as it is, is only the most obvious of these-and is controlled, if at all, by waiting with eyes wide. It might not even materialize.
As you leaf through the book containing thirty-seven diptychs, you can’t help but notice how the flowers
just jump off the page. By manipulating color, Oliphant manipulates your focus, leading your eye to where
he wants it to go. A petal’s curled edge, for instance, becomes the focal point, leading the eye to follow
the whole flower as if it were an illustration created with one single line, like the parrot tulip below. Of course, the way the book pairs the same image yet colored differently, you get to really see Oliphant’s reach + expertise as shown in the petals of this tulip, ‘start as a deep magenta, then revert to black + white at
their fringes-as if to rein in their urge to turn rococo,’ said Hart.
‘Enlightened Blooms: Solarized Floral Diptych Photographs By Brad Oliphant, published by Glitterati Incorporated, demonstrates Oliphant’s concept about finding + showing the beauty that the world simply misses, ‘walking down a city block fixated on our problems + our work, + all the while there’s
beauty passing by,’ which makes this book a perfect addition to your library + or a unique Mother’s Day keepsake.
This title is available for purchase at http://glitteratiincorporated.com.