Do you think faded roses are beautiful?

Faded roses

A few years ago, I would not have considered this picture to convey beauty simply because the roses are a day or so (plus a rain shower) past their prime. The flowers are over, spent, no longer worthy subjects. I wouldn’t have taken the picture, let alone posted it on my blog.

Learning to see like a photographer has loosened me up. If I was a more talented photographer, I’m confident I could find beauty in anything.

You may agree with the old me, or the new me, but no matter what the consensus there’s no way this shot would be selected to sell this variety of rose today on a plant label or in a rose catalogue.

I won’t say it could never be used because our ideas of commercial beauty might change. Now wouldn’t that be interesting?

The petals of the lowest rose in the cluster are just loosely hanging on till the next rough breeze shakes the stem and bounces them off. Yet this is the bloom that most attracts me in the shot, the one that keeps pulling my eyes back to it.

I’ve felt roses like this so often when deadheading that my mind can touch it, even though my fingers can’t. The petals are limp, slightly moist, clingy. I can read the future in the angle of the petals. If they hadn’t been caught in a shower and were dryer, this is rose susurrus in the making.

It’s about time I started to open up to a wider range of beauty in flowers and stopped demanding perfection.

I often say that I enjoy the soft, warm beauty in old people’s faces just as much – perhaps even more than – the ordinary beauty of youth. That’s my idea of a blessing. The easier it is for us to see beauty, the richer our lives will be.


54 Replies to “Do you think faded roses are beautiful?”

  1. Yes, I think these roses are beautiful. You helped by selecting an artful presentation, with the subjects creating a diagonal line through the image. It doesn’t hurt that there are an odd number of roses or that the light is soft and caressing, highlighting the silkiness of the petals. Beauty can be in the mind, but it’s also in the hands of the photographer. Or, more to the point, a good photographer can help viewers find the beauty in imperfection.

    1. That’s an interesting perspective – I am trying to steer myself away from taking pictures of individual blooms and look for artistic clusters.

  2. I always think of older people or things (roses, in this instance) as, “there was a time when you were young, beautiful, and strong.” I look through their present and imagine how they once might have been. I “see” their beauty in my mind and know that their current beauty lies in their maturity.

  3. When I look at the picture my first thought is beautiful. I don’t look at the elderly living around me as ugly, age brings beauty in a different way. The smile of a person wrought with age is inspiring. It brings a new beauty of its own. Hands that are wrinkled and old have a beauty all their own too. It’s a great shot.

    1. The beauty of age is earned, so becomes filled with character and feeling as you say. I’m really enjoying reading the comments to this post and having the chance to benefit from other people’s insights.

  4. Found your blog through the community pool. And I love this post! Just like you said, beauty is definitely everywhere if we really look for it. Love your photography by the way!

  5. A weird opinion, but I think dead roses are more beautiful. Sounds emo, but I just like the way the color deepens as they dry and curl.

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