Those who know me know that I have a passion for flower photography. Especially the dreamy, surreal type, where magic and reality blend seamlessly, leaving the viewer with just a sense of awe and enthrallment. The Polish photographer Magda Wasiczek delivers the goods, and then some. I can never tire of seeing her photographs, and luckily for me she’s very prolific! Magda doesn’t just do flowers, though, her subjects are tied to Mother Nature and include spiders, grasshoppers, ladybirds, caterpillars, butterflies, snails, shells, fungi, dewdrops, rain, snow, etc. She also photographs newborn babies and underwater sea creatures, as well as macro photography.
I wish I had 1/100th of Magda’s talent!
Here’s how Magda describes herself, excerpt taken from her own website:
INTERNATIONAL GARDEN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2012
Photography raising awareness to the beauty of nature to me, I’ve learned to see things invisible, to enjoy a million small details, which previously did not pay attention. First of all, it became my way of life and the cure for all evils …I do not know who or why, what strength created the world that surrounds us. I know that it is an unusual and fascinating in every smallest detail that is a miracle. It is not my priority showing the world exactly the way it is. There are many other photographers who do it better than me. I want the audience to present my vision of the world, this idyllic paradise of fairy tales. I hope that looking at my pictures, for a while, wake up a child inside of them, because the world in the eyes of children is always more colorfull , fascinating, mysterious and full of surprises.
I came across this article where Magda explains how she got into photography, and what inspires her:
Wasiczek’s photographic story started with a 1998 business trip, from which her husband returned with a Nikon N70 film SLR. A gift celebrating the birth of the first of their three children, the N70 quickly became an expressive tool in Wasiczek’s hands. She captured her child’s first years with such sensitivity that soon other parents were hiring her to photograph their kids, and now she’s made a career of it.
As her camera skills improved, Wasiczek made the journey from children’s nurseries to meadows and gardens near her home, where a more unusual photographic vision evolved. “My photos aren’t literal representations of flowers,” she says, “but are the record of impressions that I experience, impressions of color, light, and shape. I look for visual effects to represent those impressions.”
These effects might be background highlights that will defocus into stars, rings, or moons, as well as colors that can be saturated or otherwise tweaked into something otherworldly.
Instead of individual blossoms or tidy bouquets, Wasiczek is drawn to chaotic meadows and gardens with unkempt wildflowers that live up to their name. These are places that evoke memories of dashing around her grandmother’s garden as a child. “I really miss the old picturesque flower gardens with typical Polish natives like mallows, nasturtiums, sunflowers, poppies, and helleniums,” she says. Now everything is mowed, pruned, aligned, and contained, she laments, within neatly trimmed borders.
“When I go into the meadow or garden, I look around. I often sit there to sharpen my eyes,” Wasiczek says. “Within the jungle of grass and plants, I try to find a theme that will inspire me. I soak up the smells of the meadow, its sounds, its light, and I wait. Maybe a butterfly will flap by, or I’ll notice a ladybug climbing a leaf, or drops of dew will sparkle in a shaft of sunlight.”
When this happens, she picks up her camera and plays. Wasiczek’s favorite time is from late afternoon until sunset, mainly for the light. “By nature I am an owl, not a lark, so for me the perfect time is when the low sun of late afternoon beautifully illuminates the plants and gives them warm, golden colors,” she says. She’s inspired by this light, especially after rain.
“The very low-contrast light created by a cloudy, gray sky is also good, but its effect is different,” she continues. “It’s best for making bright, pastel photos. I don’t like strong sun, and the only thing that will draw me out of the house at noon is a flock of butterflies passing through.” Wasiczek avoids flash, and prefers to reflect ambient light onto backlit or shadowed subjects with a compliment of small reflectors and mirrors.
As much as she likes the golden hour, Wasiczek will also wake before dawn to shoot. In these moments, insects are just stirring and not as likely to fly off, and dew drops put on amazing light shows. “On mornings bathed in dew, the flowers look like they’re studded with diamonds that shine in the first rays of the sun. The views of this spectacular phenomenon can be breathtaking, but they’re not for sleepers. In summer, you have to be up and out on the meadow by 4 a.m. Otherwise, you miss it,” she warns.
Magda’s website is very comprehensive and well laid-out, with her photos arranged according to category. I highly recommend that you pay a visit there to see why I’m so excited about her.
Here are just a few of my favourite photos by Magda Wasiczek, that I’ve taken from Google Images:
Flower photography. Absolutely fabulous!
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