Heavy Roses

Edward Steichen, Heavy Roses, Voulangis, 1914

Years ago, when I first became interested in photography, I fell in love with Steichen's beautiful photograph of dying roses, which I discovered at MoMa. I would go back to the museum periodically just to look at it again and again. Steichen took the photo in France shortly before World War I, and the sensual blooms dying so spectacularly were a metaphor for the state of world as he saw it on the eve of one of the most destructive wars in history.

Ever since, I am always touched by the sight of roses that are past their prime, their beauty extinguished petal by petal. Yet I have always shied away from trying to photograph anything similar to the Steichen image. Today I happened to have a shoot in a house that had several rose bushes in the garden. We used the blooms as props, and at the end of the day, I just had to take this picture for myself.

Garden Roses, Watermill, August 3, 2010

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