I'll be headed back to Auckland before the always-awesome East Austin Studio Tour, but while I was flipping through an old guide, I ran across Rick Tolar's beautiful photographs of flowers.
He was kind enough to answer a few question for Crosspollination below.
How did you come to specialize in photographing flowers?
Actually, photographing flowers started accidentally when I happened to shoot a Dixie Blue Iris that was blooming in my yard. Even though I had many years experience in studio photography, I had never taken photos of flowers. I showed my image to some family members who coerced me to try some more. 103 images later I had finally established myself as a fine art floral photographer. My technique is fairly unique in the fact that I only use natural reflected light in a completely dark studio. This gives me the dark background that is so common in my images.
What are some of the forms and colors that you are particularly interested in right now?
My interest has been evolving over the past few years and I seem to be heading toward images that are very close to the subject. I like to flood the image area with color and close enough to add a little mystery as to what type of flower it is. I am also leaning towards multi-panels that compose one master image, primarily printed on canvas. It is interesting that I seem to have two distinct types of customers. I have those that absolutely love that particular flower and the bold, bright colors of the close up and then I have customers that love the color and do not seem to care what flower it is.
Where can we see more of your work?
I will again be in the East Austin Studio Tour this year with a collection being shown at Resonance Studio at 1406-D Smith Road. I will participate in the Cherrywood Art Festival and the LBJ Wildflower Center’s Christmas Shows, too. In April, I will have a collection of my wildflower images in Texas Highways. My website is being renovated at this time, but look for an opening by November at www.ricktolar.com.
Flowers shown from top are African Aloe, Blue Passion Flower, Bluebonnets, Hedgehog Cactus, and Hibiscus.
Thanks so much, Rick!