Susan Ziegler is my wife, a trained landscape architect who describes herself as a passionate country gardener. She grew all these flowers in two different years when deer and woodchucks somehow kept their distance and rain and sun came when needed.
The first mélange happened when Susan brought me two baskets of flowers that included may daililies which faded rapidly. I thought "what am I going to do with these?" Fortunately I had made a trundle (a tray on wheels) with a digital SLR pointing directly down in a room floodded with light. It took about 120 exposures to make the images. However, they print beautifully up to 10 feet long.
Mélange is a french word for mixtures of diverse objects and in a way illustrates the broader idea of nearby but hidden worlds, or if you wish to be a bit more scientific "emergent phenomena." If you put together some diverse but seemingly unconnected elements, something new will emerge.
These images also reflect my penchant for texture. Whether it is layered or not depends on how you look at it. It is either one layer, or many fragmented layers.
The second and third mélanges were made two years later, one with full blossoms and one with individual petals. There is no manipulation of colors, just good lighting and an excellent camera. They are, of course, available smaller and in various crops of two, three, or four segments. Since the distribution is random a single segment of any shape can be made from almost any part of the image. However, care is needed to maintain a balance of color and shapes.
The prints display beautifully under almost any kind of lighting. However, since they were photographed under 5000°K daylight lamps when illuminated with similar LED lamps, the effect is rather astonishing.