cover image Botanica: iPhone Photos

Botanica: iPhone Photos

Ralph Nelson. Ralph Nelson, $60 hardcover (156p) ISBN 978-0-9882649-0-8

In this collection Nelson, a veteran motion picture still photographer, uses his iPhone camera to capture the vibrant colors and textures of flowers and plant life. The close perspective of most of the shots causes the viewer to focus on the beauty of smaller details: dewy pink petals reach toward the light, bright purples and reds dominate a photo of leaves that have fallen to the ground in fall, and a white tropical flower's pistil looks oddly extraterrestrial. The tiniest details often become the focus of the work, e.g., the grains of a dried-out log resemble storm clouds. Many of the photographs are reminiscent of the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe, gracefully composed and brimming with a dynamic, almost sexual charge. Each image is paired with short, sometimes religious quotes extolling the virtues of nature by such notable (and diverse) figures as Michelangelo, Mark Twain, the Buddha, Henry David Thoreau, and Oscar Wilde. No information is given about the subjects for the botany enthusiast, but there is plenty to feast on visually.