Finding Meaning In The Simplest Of Things

Rain drops on red roses in the lovely Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Austria.

Here's a very simple photo that illustrates a range of quite different elements, some obvious, others less so. The image was made with a Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105 mm f/4 IS lens at 105 mm. With my camera set to ISO 400 I made the image with a shutter speed of 1/20 second and at an aperture of f/8 ISO.

How To Successfully Deconstruct A Photo

Let's look at the obvious elements of the image. It features a flower, which happens to be a rose; that rose displays a red Hue (i.e., color), that is relatively high in saturation (i.e., pure in color); and is a close-up photograph that displays a shallow Depth of Field (DOF) and water droplets.

That's already seven rather unique aspects associated with this image. And don't forget the defocused background or its relationship to the subject.

Now for the more powerful elements being explored in this image. What might the raindrop on the rose indicate to you? Such delicate beauty only lasts a few short moments. One moment the raindrop comes into contact with the flower, the next it's gone. Might that suggest both the beauty and transient nature of our natural world and, by implication, of our own existence?

There is life within every flower and a world within every raindrop and it's during those fleeting moments, when the two come together, that I'm reminded of the transitory nature of our existence.

Pink roses, photographed after a rain storm, in the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Austria.

A Simple Approach To Making Beautiful Photos

We are connected to each other and to the natural world. By concentrating our attention on the more simple aspects of everyday life you'll be able to block out worldly distractions. Such simple meditations will enhance your focus and lead to insights as to the nature of our true reality and our life's purpose. To begin the search for such inner truths we would all do well to stop and smell the roses. 

By keeping an image simple it's easier for the viewer to connect with it. The importance of simplicity within our complicated world cannot be understated. With the initial connection made the technical, aesthetic and spiritual aspects in our images will emerge. If you're serious about your photography it's important to be aware of the power of metaphor and symbolism in the photos you make.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru