Enlightened Blooms: Solarized Diptych Floral Photographs by Brad Oliphant


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Foreword by Russell Hart

In his first published book of photography, former fashion photographer Brad Oliphant explores the classical subject of flowers through a fresh and revitalizing lens. From hibiscus and tea rose to amaryllus and calla lily, Enlightened Blooms: Floral Diptych Photographs presents thirty-seven distinct diptychs, each uniquely transformed through the photographer’s process of solarization. Instead of intensifying the flowers’ colors, Oliphant chooses to first desaturate them, examining the forms and textures in black-and-white. Then, with the sensibility of a painter, he reintroduces color slowly and deliberately, for a final work both vibrant and restrained. As Russell Hart writes in the Foreword, “For me, the creative manipulation showcased here is no different, fundamentally, than the essential aesthetic experience afforded by a flower. Its intriguing colors are really no more eccentric or improbable than the winsome hues of a real flower.”

Enlightened Blooms is a collection to treasure for lovers of botany and photography alike, along with anyone who has ever marveled at the elegant forms of the natural world. In Oliphant’s own words, “We walk down a city block fixated on our problems and our work, and all the while there’s beauty passing by.” With true artistic and technical mastery, Oliphant encourages a deeper appreciation of the beauty that continuously surrounds us.

Russell Hart has a very distinguished career in the photo industry as a photographer, editor, and writer. He is the Executive Editor of American Photo magazine and Editor of American Photo on Campus magazine. and has had his own work exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY among many others. He has received numerous fellowships and awards and his photography reviews have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Camera Arts, Zoom, The Boston Globe Magazine, and Fotografare. Some of Hart’s books include Photography for Dummies (Wiley/IDG), William Albert Allard: The Photographic Essay (Little, Brown, co-author Eria Zwingle), and The Joy of New Photography (Addison-Wesley).

ISBN: 978-0-9903808-3-2
160 pages; 9.8 x 11.8"; hardcover
72 4/c photographs


Brad Oliphant