Wildflowers in a Glass | Mark Lindsay

“I need to photograph more,” I said to myself on a crisp, spring day. I was in one of those artist’s slumps where I felt the desire to make something but not quite having the energy to lift myself from my chair. Instead I rocked myself into further justification for doing nothing. I looked out my window knowing that I was wasting a perfectly good day.

Yet, the afternoon light in my studio would have nothing to do with the inertia into which I’d settled myself. It teased me as it danced around the room, almost begging me to photograph something—anything. The light circled the space until it fell upon a small glass into which tiny wildflowers had been placed. The light bounced around the glass, scattered and refracted itself into a light sculpture. It changed quickly as the sun moved, glimmering and attracting me like a lure would a fish. The glass, the flowers, and the light grew more beautiful as the sun seemed to adjust itself to a position of perfect geometry with the objects on my table. I could sit no more.

Lumbering around, I found my camera in another room. By the time I turned it on, cleaned the lens, and returned to the studio, the light had changed again. It was growing weaker so I had to work fast. I made several quick photos from several different perspectives. And suddenly it was over. The sun was now on its way to another adventure. The small glass turned dull and flowers seemed to droop just a little. I settled back into my chair and forgot about the photos. A week later I rediscovered them—and the afternoon dance of the sun came right back to me.

“I need to photograph more,” I said to myself as I developed one of the photos.