Early this Spring, I took several pictures of the dead milkweed plants in a nearby field. I’ve always found these beautiful and used to use them in flower arrangements and other wall-hanging sculptures. The grey tones really appeal to me, even before I started to understand Wabi-Sabi aesthetics. They normally last well into the Summer, at least until we get our first heavy rains which seem to dissolve them like paper in water. The contrast of the gray against the bright greens wasn’t possible on this day. All the foliage behind it was dried and faded as well, and the sky was pale grey with light cloud cover. I just knew it would look great in monochrome. I tweaked the contrast and sharpness to highlight the textures.
As with so many of my photos, the story for it started to unfold as I played with my filters. For some reason, Grant Wood’s American Gothic swan into mind and the mood that I was getting from this image felt much like that famous painting. There’s something leaning it towards a gothic or 1960s monochrome film style… you know the ones, they all felt gothic, slightly dirty and eerie.
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