Sunday, June 13, 2010

Peony Flower

It was too windy for garden shots so I took this photo indoors. A 30 second exposure at f22 and much effort with the torch to 'paint' the light on. 
I think this photo has the look of a old painting or print with the light illuminating the wooden table a little and the flower looking as though it has browned under layers of varnish.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Peony flower and bud

I only managed one photograph tonight before my tripod broke. It wasn't very dark and I kept the torch trained on the bud exposing for two seconds. The warm light of the torch and the cool blue light has produced some nice purple shadows in the middle

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The garden by torchlight

Clockwise from top left:foxglove,angelica,geranium,aqua legia,rhubarb
I heard Linda Rutenberg on the radio talking about photographing plants at night using a torch and I couldn't wait to give it a try. It took some experimenting with exposure times and how much to waggle the torch. Some magical effects are possible and there are lovely black backgrounds. With film in the camera  there might have been a lot time waiting for possibly disappointing results. I love the the instant results from digital photography, discarding the failures immediately and pursuing the more interesting ones.Why not take a look at Linda Rutenberg's blog

I liked the foxglove photograph on the left because the light was played over the top part a little more so that the lower blooms have a bluer cast. These are 5-10 second exposures so best done on a still night although the effects from a little movement can be really nice as can be seen on the aqua legia where the lower blooms are moving but the top has stayed relatively still. 
These images reminded me a little of Mary Delany's decoupages or "paper mosaiks" as she called them. She mostly worked on a black background with cut out tissue paper. She started making them when she was 71 and made thousands before she died,_passiflora_laurif.aspx