Blog #156, 5/4/16
I spent a few years photographing flowers. My goal was to create images of flowers that had not been seen before. I studied every book (many dozens) and images available to me so that I would not duplicate work done by anyone else.
At night, alone in the dark of my studio, with opera playing from the speakers of my stereo, I made photographs of every flower I could find. I had the help of orchid growers, garden center managers and flower shop owners who delivered all sorts of “subjects” to me; I challenged them to bring things that were fantastic, rare and peculiar.
I made this collage/poster for them in gratitude and to challenge and encourage them to continue the quest:
I then photographed each with my own special lighting formula and, using post-production techniques, embarked on an exploration to seek and find what was possible.
The work was published in a book entitled, “BOTANICA.”
The genus of flower that I loved more than any other was the Dahlia, the cover of BOTANICA. Here are a few of the images of Dahlias I made prior to the publication of “BOTANICA.”
But, I was not finished (it’s a problem with having a book published—like a child leaving for college; I’ve even resisted occasional offers to publish projects for that reason: I needed to continue exploring.)
The dahlia is an herbaceous perennial plant native to Mexico; its 42 species has great diversity with 1000’s of hybrids commonly grown as garden plants. They gave me so much variety and wonder to work with that after I turned the work in for publication I built a raised dahlia bed at our house in Connecticut and grew many varieties.
In my quest for more and different dahlias I contacted dahlia growers. A number of them sent me tubers that I grew to have more “subjects” for my explorations. These growers were most helpful:
I grew, picked and photographed them and “worked” on the them producing images that brought me great happiness.
These were freshly grown in my Dahlia bed, then picked and “worked on.”:
Essentially the dahlias became a “standard,” a “base,” a starting canvas to make images.
After photographing any one of them I let it sit in the dark for days, allowing it to dry out, and then re-photographed. This, of course, is another project altogether:
Glitterati Incoprorated, the publisher of the Retrospective, Schatz Images: 25 Years is now offering the two- book boxed set at a discount from the original price. The set comes with an 11″x14″ print of the buyer’s choice.
To view more of my work, visit my website.