“Miniature Pot Rose”

Miniature Pot Rose, SE Utah (c) Mike Utley

F65-1(S)–Miniature Pot Rose, SE Utah
I don’t have many studio images, which makes sense because I never had a studio or a proper lighting kit. I learned to improvise. I photographed this miniature pot rose in the living room in a make-shift studio many years ago. I thumb-tacked a dark blanket to the ceiling to provide a black background and used lighting from a west-facing window to illuminate the rose. I also employed a whiteboard reflector to bounce some fill-light onto the flower to eliminate harsh shadows. I like the sensuous curve of the stem and the hint of leaves at the bottom. The blood-red hue of the petals really stands out against the dark background. The blossom of the rose was only about an inch in diameter. I’ve always loved flower photography, whether it was in the field or a temporary studio indoors. The advantage of shooting flowers indoors is that I could control the elements (no wind, customized lighting, etc.). I prefer wild flower images made out-of-doors, however. The experience is more profound as I have nature’s symphony of sights, scents and sounds all around me as I compose a shot. Still, I love this image. It is natural beauty even if it was made in an ad hoc living room studio years ago. (Canon gear, Fuji Velvia ISO 50)

35 thoughts on ““Miniature Pot Rose”

    1. Thanks, Jane. This was such a cool little flower. I’d never seen miniature roses before. It’s a combination of the lighting (both direct from the left and reflected from the right), the black background, the colors, and the shallow depth-of-field that really makes it look almost 3D. The blossom is in sharp focus, while the stem sort of fades out of focus a bit. It really does stand out. It’s a personal favorite of mine. Thanks for your kind words as always. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Oh sweet, this is gorgeous and gracious to behold. I always smile whenever I see a flower. Perhaps it rhymes with something in me I’m yet to know. You really worked hard to capture these glamorous images and they speak directly to the heart my friend. Receive my plaudits for this. ๐Ÿ‘

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  2. The curve of the stem is sublime, Mike. I liked learning about how you set up the shot. That would never occur to the non-photographer-me. ๐Ÿ˜€ And like you, I prefer outdoor natural shots, but this is wonderful too. I hope you get to enjoy some sunshine today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Diana. Yep, this was sort of an exception for me. I love wild flowers, but this rose was in a flower pot so it made sense to try to isolate it against a dark background to bring out its glory, hence the impromptu living room studio. I also have a few other “studio shots” of flowers and I’ll be posting one of a day lily soon. Thanks for your nice comment. I always look forward to your reviews. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a stunning one, Mike. I love how the rose basks in the light. I would never believe that this photo wasn’t taken in a professional studio. Goes to show – where there’s a will, there’s a way. I love how the photo is sharp at the top but subtly fades towards the bottom. This is awesome creativity with a great eye for beauty. Great job! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks a bunch, Terveen. I had fun with this shot, for sure. I mean, the subject was very agreeable, and its color and stem curve possessed such personality. This just seemed to be a perfect little rose. There’s both boldness and subtlety here, and a quiet confidence. I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for such a wonderful comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Grace. A dancing rose, indeed! You’re right–it does look as though it’s swaying to music. That curved stem has always sort of fascinated me. It’s so sinuous and expressive. So happy to know you liked this one. Thanks as always for your kind support. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mark. The ol’ impromptu studio did the trick for this shot. I worked in a camera store in 1997 (the owners were from Vermont) and we had a real studio there for portraiture and product photography. Studio lighting kits can be expensive, and rolls of background paper and other studio equipment can be pricey. It just made sense to rig up something simple, and I was pleased with the results. Thanks for the nice comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You should be pleased with this. I also feel like it is an indication that you understand the nuances of photography. I bet some people might struggle to get that contrast and lighting in a studio.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kirsten. I googled the enchanted rose (I’ve…um…never seen Beauty and the Beast…) and you’re right! Flowers seem to be naturally enchanted anyway, and this one certainly seems that way, to me at least. Glad you liked this one. Thank you much! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, this is a beautiful passage, and one I’ve never read before. Thanks so much for such a wonderful comment. I’m humbled by your words, to be honest. I really appreciate this. I ran a search to find the complete poem. It’s an amazing piece. Thanks again for your kind review! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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