Low-Hanging Fruit: Flower Detail from Kid Ikebana
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
detail of a child's ikebana arrangement, at a show in Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
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In one sense, photographing an ikebana display can be like shooting fish in a barrel or hunting game in a zoo... everything is sitting right before you just waiting for you to point and click, but on the other hand, having to choose what to photograph — how to frame it, from what angle... how to expose it, where to focus it, and how thin or thick to set the depth of field — raises things to a whole new artistic challenge. Offer the same floral arrangement in the same situation to 10 good photographers, and I'd guess you'd come up with 10 utterly different results, as each “sees” something different.

As I have for the last several years, I went to an annual ikebana show that some friends display their work in. I first posted about it four years ago here and here, and then again last year here and here. Those posts give a good idea for the feeling of the ikebana show (which, incidentally, is not a good place to see ikebana because each ikebana display is intended for a specific setting, and it's unlikely that any are intended for the mood of a bare folding table with a dozen others under mixed incandescent/fluorescent light in a large conference room).

Here are some random shots of detail from the kids' displays, followed by snapshots of the whole arrangements for reference...

detail of a child's ikebana arrangement, at a show in Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600
detail of a child's ikebana arrangement, at a show in Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600
detail of a child's ikebana arrangement, at a show in Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
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detail of a child's ikebana arrangement, at a show in Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
detail of a child's ikebana arrangement, at a show in Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
( this one creamified a bit with Lightroom's “negative clarity”, as described here )
Vertical Desktop-Background Versions
1050×1680  ·  1200×1920  ·  1600×2560
detail of a child's ikebana arrangement, at a show in Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600
detail of a child's ikebana arrangement, at a show in Kyoto Japan
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600

And now, in the same order as they appear above, the full-arrangement snapshots...


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos

Continued here...


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

How lovely! And interesting. In your first photo the unopened bud appears to promise only four petals, yet the opened flower has six. Fascinating!

— comment by Anonymous on October 10th, 2011 at 10:53pm JST (6 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I’m very impressed by all of your work. You’re an inspiration! I’m 18 and a huge fan of photography, and definately interested in programming. You seem like the man and I wish you further success in your future endeavors.

— comment by dan lynch on June 2nd, 2012 at 6:03am JST (5 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink
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