Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

The Chocolate Plant

As opposed to what one might think, the so called Chocolate Plant (Pseuderanthemum alatum) is not the plant from which the chocolate we eat is derived from. That plant would be the cacao tree, whose dried and fermented cocoa beans (seeds) are used in the production of chocolate. The Chocolate Plant is so-named because of the chocolate and silver coloration of its leaves. But when it blooms, the focus moves from the unusual leaf coloration to the beautiful small purple flowers that grow on tall stems.

This particular day was my first photographing at Phipps Conservatory in quite a while, and so when I returned there it was with fresh eyes, and that is always helpful.

Pseuderanthemum alatum © Howard Grill

Pseuderanthemum alatum © Howard Grill


Imbuing A Feel

Lately I have been experimenting with the idea of ‘imbuing a feel’ into photographs… try to recreate the emotional impact of ‘being there’. Such is the case with this weeping willow tree, which I photographed in a local cemetery. The final image is a combination of an in focus and an out of focus photo, as well as conversion of the image to partially appear as a painting with limited detail and with the layering in of textures. The tree itself was large and the center-point of the entire area next to a pond. I have photographed it several times but have never ‘published’ any photos of the tree before. It felt as if the fronds could wrap themselves around you if you closed your eyes.

“Weeping By The Willow” © Howard Grill

“Weeping By The Willow” © Howard Grill


Textured Tree.......In Black And White

I decided to see what I might come up with if I tried converting some of the ‘textured trees’ I had posted a few weeks back into black and white images. It turns out that I like the way they look in black and white quite a bit. That does make sense as the focus of the silhouettes is on line and shape, which tends to be accentuated in black and white photographs. Here is an example of one of them after having been transformed to black and white.

textured tree.jpg