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Melangés


Desperation~Inspiration

After putting away the view camera, there was a time for experimenting until the technology caught up with my needs. With a Sony 850 I because enchanted with the colors of mums at the local nursury and attempted some very wide images composed of dozens of exposures.The rig (minus camera) was something like that to the right. The flowers were on a trundle that could move under the camer. The results were mixed.

However, my wife Susan was a very avid gardener and our home was surrounded with day lilies, hydrangras, etc. One day, with an empty trundle I asked her to bring me a basket of flowers, which she did. A large basket, at which instant I realized I hadn’t a clue what I was going to do withm them. Dozens of small vases popped into my head and immediate I recognized as impractical. So with essentially no thought I began, to Susan’s horror, pulling petals off the flowers and tossing them into the trundle. She soon realized that this might work and I asked her for another basket.

I arranged the blossoms only to keep form any area standing out enough to draw the eye. Then I began photographing.

I divided the length into 6 segments and did focus stacting on each segment resulting in about 100 exposures.

Lighting was another story altogether. My studio spaces are all equipped with overhead flourscents of a special kind made by Plilips in Holland. The color temperature is a very accurate 5000°K (daylight) with a color rendering index of 98, the best available. With white wallls and floor the effect is that of shadow free daylight, something one would never experience in the real world. When illuminated with 5000K light the effect is quite starteling.

Melangés No. 2 was done the following year with full blossoms, and No.3 again with petals. The maximum practical size of a print is 44" x 120". At this size all the flowers are in perfect focus.

MUMS FOR SHOOTING

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The flowers are on a trundle that slides back and forth. The digital camera takes a series of about 100 exposures.

I asked Susan to bring me a basket of flowers from the gardens that surrounded our home, which she did. However, I had not made plans of what to do when I got them. A bit embarassing.

Without thinking I started pulling the petals off the flowers and tossing them randomly into the trundle. She was horrified. I asked for another basket and she delivered and began to see what I was up to. It turned out to be more than I realized.

The illumination in the studio is the color of daylight or 5000°K, but because of the distribution of the light is shadow free. I move the trundle to take about 6 sections of the image and do focus stacking in each position, which accounts for the stunning clarity of the image. The installation shown in our gallery room is of a print slightly cropped to an image area of 40" x 115". It is perfectly sharp at as closely as you can focus your eyes. If illuminated with 5000°K LEDs the flowers appear to be there, in front of you.

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