September: Flower Portrait

Jude is calling for flower portraiture this month – capturing the beauty of a single bloom and she kicks off the challenge with the stunningly beautiful Turquoise Ixia (Ixia viridiflora).

It’s worth taking a peek at her blog post as it is quite the most gorgeous colours.  She describes the bloom as having  “one of the rarest and most beautiful colours in the plant world. The satiny purple centres and yellow anthers contrast beautifully with the turquoise petals. This one is flowering in the garden at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. It took my breath away when I first saw it.”

I’ve chosen to showcase the strelizia, or as it is commonly known, the Bird of Paradise plant.  They do well in our garden holding up in galeforce wind and they’re popular too in the nectar stakes.  I’ve gone for a different approach dissecting a flower to abstract it’s hidden beauty.   I hope to show up it’s striking form and various colours.  I enjoyed experimenting with different camera techniques – double exposure in camera and ICM; then did a bit of editing using filters.  I look forward to reading comments on the overall effect and hope it’s not all a bit OTT.

Visit Jude’s Garden photography page here  to see further examples of prized blooms.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections 2

This week’s photo challenge has me inspired to try and capture images with a mirror.  Must admit i got carried away.  I was thinking along the lines of the surreal, based on an occurrence of a magical illusion where the houses on the hillside behind my house appear floating in mid-air through reflections in my front windows.  So i experimented using dual reflected images of orchids, wanting to capture a sense of the ethereal –  light and floating.  Felt a bit like producing a white rabbit out of a hat.Orchid-reflected

Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement II

I’ve had fun experimenting with the illusion of movement by creating a “Flower Burst”.    I used a zoom technique to transform still life into funky artworks!   I used an 18 – 200mm telephoto lens, ISO 200 F25 1/4 second shutter speed. This is the ‘zoomed-out’ movement.

Softer colours; the same settings but a zoom-in movement.Here are the roses …. it was interesting to see how the colours translated into variated hues.

The next sequence –  “Liburnum Kaleidoscope” is a creation drawn from the exquisite liburnum bower at Hampton Court which I discovered last spring when visiting the UK.   I lingered long in that tunnel surrounded by the heavenly perfume and colour and loved the acid yellow.

  Camera settings –  ISO 200 F25 Shutter speed 1/25 and camera twist while depressing the shutter turned the scene into a patterned kaleidoscope.  

…. and a second shot, using a slightly faster twist, but slower shutter speed – 1/4.   This is one of my favourite ‘mind’s eye’ shots.