Rose is a… Rose

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Floral Photography / Flower / Photography / Rose


Roses, like lilies, bloom as they are. But some stand out. And, as with lilies, gilding is superfluous.

(Nikon D850, AF-S Micro NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

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The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. Did you hesitate about darkening the traces of green that remained in the lower left?

    Somehow the expression “gild the lily” is the expression that coalesced in communal memory. However, what Shakespeare had Salisbury say in King John was:

    Therefore, to be possess’d with double pomp,
    To guard a title that was rich before,
    To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
    To throw a perfume on the violet,
    To smooth the ice, or add another hue
    Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
    To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
    Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve recently just started to shoot flowers (again) and, I have to say, it’s extremely satisfying. Roses have a beautiful simplicity and that may be a challenge to produce a compelling image. This one’s gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much. Roses are a favorite as they do tend to lend them selves to Florascapes and abstracts. This one, however, really wanted to be seen in its completeness.


  3. It does look like a finely done wedding cake decoration…or a complex scoop of ice cream. Either way or any other way it’s a lovely little portrait.


  4. A more ‘standard’ green would have reduced the effect, I think. The deep blue-green adds to the essential elegance of the image, rather than nudging it toward the mundane as more typical rose leaves might have done.

    As for gilding, I agree that where nature’s involved, it’s usually superfluous. I’m no John Ashbery (thank goodness, actually) but I did ponder the same issue a couple of years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, a more standard green would’ve rushed to the fore and dominated the rose. When one is dealing with delicacy, it is best to stay delicate.

      I find myself in a paradox of agreeing completely about gilding nature being superfluous, while very often gilding nature to an extreme degree in creating my abstractions. But perhaps it’s not a paradox at all: if Nature had not provided me with a beautiful color or form or rhythm, there would be nothing to abstrct. And in the end, all I am doing is emphasizing a detail of what she has provided.

      Thank you very much for directing me to your post, most beautiful, and introducing me to the Etheree. Yours is a perfect introduction and has inspired me to play with the form.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been thinking about this, and at last remembered the 1960s and early 1970s, when in certain circles it was quite the fashion to take a bit of nature — a leaf, a sand dollar, a scallop shell — and dip it into either ‘gold’ or ‘copper’ to create jewelry.

        That’s how I’ve always thought of gilding: adding something extraneous and not necessarily related to the object being gilded at all. Your work with these white roses is quite the opposite. Instead of adding something that wasn’t there in the beginning, you’re enhancing, or abstracting, what lies at the heart of the flower itself: form, color, and so on.

        In a sense, it’s the difference between so many social media photos and the work that you, Steve, and Steve do. There’s nothing wrong with layering on filter after filter in the various programs that are available, but the result usually is a world away from those you achieve.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: AMAGA Blog — Just a Year Ago Today – AMAGA Photography Blog

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