The Dutch photographer Tim van der Most has used his time during lockdown to revisit his botanical photography. His series includes images inspired by botanic illustrations showing the anatomic research of flowers. I got in touch with Tim to get to know more about his fascination and where it all started.
It has been nearly 12 years since he got the opportunity to set-up his atelier and photo studio in a school built in 1890, which had been empty for quite a long time. For the most part the building had been stripped of its walls, floors and ceiling. Having barely a solid foundation left, the deconstructed environment inspired to create. The materials and textures of old wood, stones, and rusty marks on the walls were a perfect source of inspiration and a rich playground for Tim. In the basement of this same building, he found old botanical illustrations which started as an inspiration for his own series of still-life images of flowers.
This first flower series would always stay in the back of his mind, but his career moved towards fashion photography, portrait photography, and music projects. Slowly but surely, he found himself drawn back to botanical photography. This was no in small part through inspirational works by artists like Alexander Marsha, Johanna Helena Herolt, Katie Scott, Dale Grant, and Karl Blossfeldt.
“Light plays an important part in creating the emotion of an image, but sometimes there is astillness and a simplicity that emerges from the flower itself that takes a leading role, in those occasions it is that simplicity combined only with a very soft diffused light that is needed to create the image. On other moments I get to dissect the flower-like in one of the botanical Illustrations I love so much. I can do things nature cannot, I can use flower patels as raindrops falling as tears. I play with light and shadow and form to strengthen the emotion and drama of the flower. The difference between working on this series now and working with flowers 12 years ago, is that now I let the flowers and the moment guide me much more than I did back then. I work less on a preconceived plan as I did before, my role as a photographer became smaller in creating the images whereas the role of the flower became bigger. “