The Beauty of Imperfection

I had the lucky opportunity earlier to stumble on a great floral photography website on Instagram. The flowers were generally set against a dark background and the photographer had them beautifully well lit.

I was looking at it and thinking I could never do that. But not in a negative way.

What I aim for is an element of imperfection. The challenge of course is to aim for that without getting to a bad or ugly photograph.

I popped in some examples above. Over on the right, it would have been straightforward to have found petals that were more uniform. That would have given me a symmetrical centre that would have looked kind of cool.

However, I am reminded of the Japanese potters who create the perfect tea pot and then deliberately skew a part of the spout or the body of the pot.

The purpose is to remind ourselves that none of us are perfect. Pursuing perfection is a fool’s errand. There is more beauty to be found in asymmetry and kinks .

Over on the left is a hyacinth that I took in very low light conditions. It is very grainy. I love it but hesitate to put it out there, as it is far from a classical photographic look.

The second from left and third from left, I’ve been toying with for a few days. For me they are about the differences between the centrepiece flowers in each. One is soft, the other harsh.

The difference is probably more obvious in the black and white version.

I’m trying to celebrate these differences and the imperfections that lie behind them.

Everywhere we chase after perfection but really the beauty lies in not getting there, in an awkward moment or within an area of life that is challenged.

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