Harold says: 9 out of ten attempts fail. That’s a good consolation. What happened ?
A company and I could not agree on the fee for an annual calendar 2020. I liked the selection of the proposed pictures, consisting of flower macros and fusion images with X-ray. „Don’t call us, we call you !“
I’m not a merchant and I don’t live on sales. But how many have to listen to such sentences every day.
With a little help from my elder daughter I did the calendar on my own.
Grapes as an object of X-raying have been inspiring me for a long time. Their structure remind the doctor of the azini of a gland or lung. The phycisist likes very much the partial and complete overlays alternating with free positions. As an artist I get an unbelievable freedom of image design.
My first X-ray imaging attempts with grapes were carried aout in October 2017. I’d forgotten !
Can something succesful be repeated ? Can it be deepened ? What is the power of the composition ?
Two days ago I tried toput my creativity into the composition. Two pictures were taken from grapes which differ only slightly. Their X-ray view on our monitor had a clearly different effect.
My colleague by chance showed up with a bouquet of small sunflowers with long stalks. Amazing opportunity !
Since days with an unsafe walk afflicted after an impact trauma with the head against a sloping roof in a Black Forest hotel last weekend I walk today after the first rain for weeks through our garden. Everything’s shines in rich colors under raindrops.
My first image is an attempt to capture two colors.
Warm and cold colors combined in these heucheria leaves.
Conflowers like stars within two colors.
Backgrounds create a new image impression. Sometimes you need a background to add to the picture some more pizzazz. In these pictures I use the background to simulate a photographic base as I saw it in Karl Blossfeldt’s pictures.
The starting point is always a color image. With a background named „Aged Board“ the color image already shows an attractiveness of its own.
The Black & White conversion enhances the contrast a bit which is why I’m adding a little glow.
From another Heucheria leaf, which shone in a wonderful red, I show here only the black and white conversion with background. This makes the reproduction of its structure much better.
Just photograph a rose and show its beauty – how wonderful that would be. Is the light right ? Do false shadows emerge ? Is the structure correctly reproduced ?
Again and again I have to go through our garden and look at the flowers. Yesterday was it again. The sun had just set and the full moon should have decreased a little later.
I tried it with all f-stops the camera and lens gave to me. To my surprise the aperture 32 at ISO 50 with 45s exposure speed was my favorite. Only at the edge the picture had to be darkened and desaturated. Post-processing can be as simple as that.
So often I tried to image a Heucheria leaf. It doesn’t seem complicated. With less saturation the impression of a water color image emerges of a single leaf.
Going on with my Blossfeldt studies I need a background for this image. An image with background exerts a special charm. A paper structure fits well.
Only the conversion to black and white comes closer to the impression of a Blossfeldt macro.
Karl Blossfeldt was a German photographer who lived from 1865 to 1932. He didn’t think himself a photographer. With his studies of plant forms he made an enormous contribution to plant photography. Here is a nice wikipedia article about him.
He started to do photograms. Plants or parts of plants were placed directly on film or paper suitable for exposure. Exposure then takes place without any optics. Later he built himself a wooden camera, which reminds me of Andreas Feininger.
Black and white backlit macro images with a background can be similar to Blossfeldt’s images.
It feels like very long ago. Harold and I were taking the shots and X-rays of new compositions last week of April this year. Our first try was an orchid with two stems. The transparency effect is very much augmented using an X-ray. A stem behind petals doesn’t show easily in HDR light box photography.
With a Phase One camera at my disposal a strong crop of the composition shows the tenderness of our orchid much better. With a resolution still sufficient.
Long lasting blossoms, turning up every year: my purple clematis in our garden.
It was my third X-ray session with flowers this week. Third fusion imaging attempt. After blue cornflower and blue aquilegia now a purple clematis. Big data on my hard disk.
Today we did it with mammography at 30 kV and 50 mAs. Lower noise ! Here is the positive representation of a single clematis:
I processed the lightbox HighKey series with a mask. There was a shift of 2 or 3 pixels from the lightest to the darker images. So I processed everything a second time to compensate for the shift. The HDR image shows a cut stalk. Photoshop is made for this.
The stalk can be lengthened like in the preceding X-ray. The fusion image shows hidden leaves, the core of the blossom and stalks much better:
The flower looks pretty fragile now, close to its natural appearance.
With my new glasses in my pocket I gazed the nearby market place on Saturday. I was captivated by six red callas whose price I could knock down to 10€ for all of them.
With my Zeiss 50mm Macro lens and no tripod I was trying to get nice shapes late in the evening. The following images have been processed using Lab color to enhance contrast and colors.
Just normal light of our living room let me to a nice coloring and interesting shapes. The blossom next to the lower right corner is a Siamese twin on a double stalk.