Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Garden Like You've Never Seen It Before

The magical photography of Magdalena Wasiczek


The first time I saw a photograph of Magdalena Wasiczek, my heart hurt.  It was an image of Heleniums, but it took me a moment to recognize the flowers.  The image focused on three sculptural flowers with planet-like orbs in the center.  The color of the flowers were muted, yet intense, like the last moments of a sunset.  The flowers floated on this turquoise-black background that conveyed an endless depth and all around the flowers. Dust (or pollen? or water? or fairies?) twirled around flowers, animating the image like a constellation in motion.  I tore the image out of the magazine and took it with me to work. I tacked it next to my computer screen.  When I look at it, I feel energized yet calmed.  I imagine that this is what God sees when he looks at Heleniums. 

Summer in Rain, on right, the image I referenced above.

Of course, I'm not the first to notice Magdalena's photographs.  Magdalena recently won the International Garden Photographer of the Year for 2012.  The photo above won for The Beauty of Plants category.  Living in Trzebinia, Poland, Magdalena's specialty is macro-photography.  Her images reveal the world beneath the garden.  Her lens seem to capture the energy, the life, that we feel in a garden, but rarely see with our eyes. 
















To find out more about Magdalena's work, please visit these websites, Facebook page, or other photography sites.

19 comments:

  1. Thomas, these photographs are stunning. Thanks so much for bringing her work to my attention. One of my favorite landscape photographers is Lynn Geesaman. I have a feeling you might like her work. http://thomasbarry.com/lynn-geesaman.php thanks for this post, Deborah

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    1. Deborah,

      Thanks for the link. I very much like those photos--particularly since they highlight the design as well as just the landscape. What I generally dislike about macro-photography (which is so popular on garden blogs) is that it ignores the site and the design--two aspects I'm particularly interested in.

      I'm enjoying your blog. I can't believe I haven't known about it earlier!

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    2. Thomas, I like to see the back story too. The hand of the garden maker interests me every bit as much as the plants.I am so pleased you are reading-thanks. Deborah

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  2. These photographs are extraordinarily beautiful, but my first reaction was to draw back to get some emotional distance. I find them disturbing in a way, probably because I have a sentimental propensity that I guard against. (Those Heleniums almost make me limp.) I do think her photography reveals something more closely akin to what we sometimes see, but almost never can photograph, in the garden. Thanks for posting this.

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    1. I tend not to like highly-manipulated macro-photography. I agree that they can have a kind of maudlin quality that is cheesy at best or exploitative at worst. A few of these photos border on that. But what I find extraordinary is that the manipulated aspect of these photos creates a new universe--a new ecosystem of color and space--that is a landscape unto itself.

      I find that I don't resent the manipulation of light or composition, but instead relish in the new world I have entered. It reminds me a bit of reading Tolkein. It's an entirely artificial universe the artist has created, but because of its artistry, I love being absorbed in it.

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  3. These showcase the fact that there is still a gaping chasm between "nice photography" and true photographic artists, even in this day and age when anybody can afford a nice camera and post processing software. These are splendid!

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  4. Just beautiful, makes me happy just to look at these images...

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  5. Ah yes...I remember too...it was that Helenium shot featured in an issue of Gardens Illustrated a few months ago...literally took my breath away! I love how she captures not just the plants themselves, but the atmosphere...it's amazing!

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  6. These are amazing! Thank you for introducing me to them. -Jean

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  7. I'd loe en opportunity to see Helenium blown up as a 4' X 6' print. Can you just imagine what an experience that would be?

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  8. Okay I new I liked the way you look at things when I first started reading your blog but this is weird. I did the exact same thing when I saw that picture of Heleniums in whatever magazine I saw it in. It is tacked onto my bulletin board next to my computer. Nice to find someone wired like me!

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  9. All the pictures are very unique and beautiful. Its true that flowers enhance the beauty of garden so i'll prefer to grow different type of flowers in your garden. Thanks for sharing.
    Toronto Landscaping

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  10. You always share great stuff. I really agree about the photos capturing what we feel but don't usually see. When artists in any field are able to capture these subtleties I am always deeply moved. On a different note, are still speaking in Frederick tomorrow?

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    1. Yes, I will be speaking in Frederick tomorrow. Looking forward to it!

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  11. This is absolutely stunning work - I've never seen anything quite like it before. There couldn't be anyone more deserving of the International Garden Photographer of the Year award. Phenomenal.

    Simon @Ambius

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