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Senescence no. 24 (Death)

Senescence has taken hold of the Amaryllis & the reproductive cycle is complete & the seeds have been pollinated. The flower is dead & the plant is ...
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Senescence has taken hold of the Amaryllis & the reproductive cycle is complete & the seeds have been pollinated. The flower is dead & the plant is set to go dormant until its next growth cycle. (No. 2)

'Senescence' as a photographic series explores the life cycle of an Amaryllis (Hippeastrum), from bloom, to reproduction, wilting & finally death. -- 'Senescence' captures in 25 photographs, the process of life, reproduction, death & decay before new growth & is told through expressive, abstract photography that chronicles the life & death of an Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) in an intimate & poetic study. -- Senescence as a scientific term describes biological aging, the deterioration of functional characteristics & the cessation of cellular division & growth. In short, senescence is the process of functional deterioration with age & dying. -- The descriptions in this series are based on my own observations & mixed with personal, armchair research I have done on the Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) & senescence. I accept that my information may be off or misguided. Please feel free to add to or correct any of this information.

- Taxonomy Research Source, Global Biodiversity Information Facility @gbifs

"This project is a reflection of age, deterioration & death in nature & in us all."
- Bruce Davis, Photographer

See my portfolio in bio to experience the rest of this series & to learn more about me & my work. -- DM me if you have any questions about my work or would like to commission me for a project. -- I will be selling this series as signed & numbered limited edition 16x24 & 8x12 prints & as unsigned, unnumbered open edition prints in various sizes very soon. -- Follow my framed & un-framed prints @brucedavisphotographs, on Instagram to learn more about the availability of this series.
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3 Comments | Report
Jules3355 September 17, 2023
This is so well shot
Rmay1 October 31, 2023
Congratulations on runner up in the Abstract Eye contest.😊
AsanteArt PRO+
AsanteArt December 19, 2023
Incredible back story and shot.
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Behind The Lens

This photograph was captured, collected & curated in my home studio. I don't often explore botany photographic series from a scientific & documentary perspective so this was new territory for me. I often explore still life from a more poetic & emotional framework. I still wanted to capture the poetry & emotional arc of the death of the amaryllis but focus on the process through how I framed the series & how I spoke about the series. I wanted people to see both the science & emotion of death.
This series was captured at various times of day. I wanted to capture each stage at its most impactful & dramatic so that meant photographing the stages just as or after they happened or later in the day to allow whatever process was happening to fully take effect. In this case I really wanted to capture the emotion of ‘fear’ in death so I waited for a full day of wilting to ensure that the amaryllis dried & opened enough to tell that part of the story with full effect. This photo was taken just before 18:00.
I used both natural & studio lighting for this series. In this case I used studio lighting with a dark black cloth with just a hint of shimmer. Again, I was exploring the process & emotional arc of death so I wanted to capture the most dramatic & story driven image so I felt using studio light that I could completely control & manipulate made the most sense to me. I am very happy about the results.
I used my Canon 1DX MK II with my 20-70mm 2.8 macro lens & my Godox 600 studio strobes. I wanted to get up close & personal with the process of death within this amaryllis.
Fear of death, decay & the unknown really inspired me to take this photograph. I wanted a series of images to remind me that everything is always transforming, evolving, growing & dying & the longer I study it appears that most living things inhabit & exhibit those various stages all at the same time & with a lot of overlap. To grow means we are also dying, to dye means we are also transforming thus our continuation of growth.
Lightroom Classic is my go-to for editing these types of photographs. Lightroom most closely mirrors the darkroom process for me & I really value that as part of my creative process. I will use Photoshop for some precise & detailed edits, but when I can I will stick with Lightroom.
In my camera bag
I normally carry my 1DX MK II with my 20-70mm 2.8 macro. It is such a versatile lens that can act as a portrait lens & can also act as a really great macro lens.
My advice to anyone who wants to try something similar - foster your patience, your organizational skills & researching skills. I really had to dedicate myself to this process & exercise a lot of patience. If I missed one or two stages I’d have to wait months to start over as I waited for a new plant to grow. I had to organize myself & my research so I knew what I was photographing & when to expect various stages to happen & develop. Brush-up on your research & connect with your subject whether it is a human or botanical subject.

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