Review – Polina Plotnikova: 27 November

Like human models, flowers become more interesting as they get older says Russian-born photographer Polina Plotnikova.

On Friday, around forty members of the Ilkley Camera Club enjoyed an evening with russian-born photographer Polina Plotnikova, a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. Polina has photographic awards including category winner in the Food Photographer of The Year competition and distinctions in International Garden Photographer of The Year competitions.

Flowers and still life are her favourite photography subjects, and through the evening Polina shared beautifully crafted floral images and still life arrangements.

In the talk entitled ‘Starting from a Blank Canvas’, she explained that she is first and foremost a studio photographer, “my approach is to construct an image in my head first – visualising the overall composition and the objects I am going to use”.

By nature a perfectionist, Polina likes to work in a well organised studio where the subjects are within her control, “As an artist, I can express myself 100% in the studio. You don’t have any children to knock over your tripod. There are no sudden gusts of wind or some other quirk of ever-changing weather to spoil your shot”.

“I always try to find a unique look by studying the subject’s mood and character, and ultimately unlock the hidden beauty of my models. A successful flower portrait attempts to discover something unique in a flower, something hidden or not necessarily obvious at first sight”.

Polina gave members an insight into her developing respect for flowers in the later stages of life, relating them to human models, “I think flowers are absolutely beautiful at every stage of their life. Like human models, flowers can become more interesting when they get older and even as they decay. Sometimes I have to use hairspray on the dead flowers to stop them falling over“.

Polina Plotnikova runs regular workshops covering many aspects of creative photography. If you’d like to know more about her work and teaching you can visit her website

The next meeting of Ilkley Camera Club on Friday 4 December will be a club member lecture ‘Bhutan’ – with Julia Kay.

Ilkley Camera Club is currently meeting via Zoom on Friday evenings at 7.30pm. For more information visit the Club website or the Facebook page on this link

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