Flower Portrait Series is a Modern Take on an Ancient Japanese Art
Inspired by the quietness displayed in Japanese ikebana arrangements, photographer Robert Peek’s images display a calm, mystic, and lively radiance that captivates viewers’ attention and curiosities.
Utilizing a vast array of luminous flora, smoke, and powders, Peek’s images pay homage to the principles of the ancient art of Japanese flower arrangements, highlighting balance and harmony while also showcasing his distinct dreamy expressions in movement.
In 1984 when Orwellian views of the world were prolific, Peek sought beauty in the world around him and founded his photo studio in Rotterdam. The Netherlands-based artist focused on and developed a love for lighting and composition. Currently, Peek has spent years working as an advertisement photographer while consistently showcasing his skills of light, purity, and smooth edging. But when not working on various brand projects, he finds solace and serenity in his practice of gardening.
“I grow flowers in my garden and these were a good inspiration to photograph,” Peek tells PetaPixel.
In a series of images featuring flowers and vegetation of all kinds, Peek’s works immerse viewers into a hazy elemental journey full of playful mixes of color, mass, and trick of the eye lighting. Part renaissance painting, part organic luminescent floral exhibition, Peeks shots utilize the natural flows of water, smoke, and ice.
Capturing “spontaneous” movements, Peek’s shots show flowers that seem to jump, mysteriously float, or gently evaporate against a solid background, all within a simplistic studio setup,
“All the work is done in the studio with mostly one or two lights. I do a lot of different things, for the jumping flowers I use holi powder, I also use smoke or dry ice and I shoot underwater also.” Peek explains.
These methods accompanied by a minimalistic aesthetic, give his images a flawless look, something that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual process.
“It often takes a lot of trial and error to get a good result…[but] I like to keep the photos simple with the build-up,” he says.
As for equipment, Peek started with a Hasselblad but recently has switched to Fujiflim.
“I don’t care about the brand, but I do like working in medium formats,” he says.
The effects are calming images invoking contemplation, feelings of peace, solitude, and even melancholy, a trademark of Peek’s other works.
Feedback on his flora projects has been positive on Instagram and Behance, which inspires Peek to keep seeking inspiration and refuge in his gardens.
For more from Robert Peek, make sure to visit his website, Instagram, or Behance
Image credits:Robert Peek