New Friends

To the best of my recollection, it was the year 2005. Life was changing, not just mine but the world itself. I had been noticing the effect of climate change for over a decade and now it was more obvious.

But there was another cause. Over the years, I had come to concentrate my photography on a few areas and subjects that I enjoyed the most, and similar images began to turn up again and again, but with a difference: “I have shot that before and it was better last time.” I began moving inland in Maine and not finding the excitement I had found on the coast and in Baxter and Acadia. The serious hikes up Mt. Katahdin were beyond me and and I was really looking for something different.

Different became Russel’s Garden Shop and the wonderful colors of mums and a trundle to roll the flowers under my new digital camera. Walks in Susan’s gardens started little fires to burn within me again.

And the technology! My Sony 850 was a revelation. Color rendering was a game-changer as was focus-stacking.

So the “Flowers” gallery is a bit of a miscellany and it doesn’t show the wild and wierd that came from experiments. Then there were the mélanges. Difficult, but different and ideal for printing large. The one you see framed is hanging in my main gallery room and has an image area of 40" x 115" and is virtually perfect from two feet away. Only three in two years, but I think they are keepers.

The flowers in the melange were all grown by my wife, Susana Ziegler and were picked in about a half hour one July afternoon.

I had my trundle set up to move in a straight line. Susan brought me, as I had asked, a basket of flowers and I realized instantly that I had not a clue what to do with them. Not 300 small vases, for example. And to Susan’s horror I began picking petals off and tossing them randomly into the trundle. Then she realized what I had begun doing without one instant thought.

One basket didn’t do the job so I asked for a second. Then I arranged the petals as randomly as I could and began photographing With the vertical (long) length of the sensor set for covering top to bottom. I would shoot one segment and then with about a 50% overlap shoot another. Six or eight did the job. But on each segment I also did focus stacking which means shooting with tiny changes in focus from on extreme to the other for each segment. So everything is in focus. And then the lighting, which is high quality diffuse daylight: no shadows, something impossible in nature. About 100 exposures and a few hours of blending them together and I had my melange.

But that was not the end. On the home page you see what happens when the colors are inverted and in the gallery and on my disk drives many more experiments, some of which work and some of which don’t. I hope to add more.

Click on the first image to go to the gallery.


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