Michael J. Carl

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michael j carl, underexposed, photo technique, emerging photographers, photo opportunities

Billings, Montana

“Hosta Studies”

“Hostas are widely cultivated, shade loving, ornamental garden plants that are easy to overlook. Ubiquitous to backyard gardens and urban greenscapes they form a nice border to compliment the flamboyant flowers of other plants or occupy a shady spot that other plants struggle in. I’ve always had hostas in my garden, but never photographed them. I was too preoccupied with the showy blooms of the irises and roses. A few years after I had planted some new varieties in my backyard I became fascinated with the magical whorls as they slowly unraveled to reveal graceful full size leaves that over the course of the growing season were ravaged by wind and insects. I photographed the hostas from the early whorled spears and young unwinding leaves of spring, into summer with the large, graceful mature leaves and flowering stalks, through autumn with the torn and pock marked leaves ravaged by weather and insects and finally the dead and decaying leaves and dried out stalks of winter. I photographed every day, in every light and in every weather. The curved lines of the broad leaves, the changes in texture as the summer continued and the strange allure of decay captivated me. In particular, I reveled in the geometric interplay as lines, curves, arcs and swirls vied for attention.”