One could hardly move through the month of February without taking a picture of a rose.

How does one avoid a compositional cliché?

Sometimes the answer is to seek inspiration from the visionaries.

Robert Mapplethorpe’s book Flowers begins with a poetic foreword by Patti Smith. Her vivid description of Mapplethorpe’s rose portrait is both heartfelt and heartbreaking.

I shot this rose against a velvet background with a strobe positioned camera right.

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