Botanical Elements is a finalist…

Inspired by my first large format botanical pano, I then created this montage in November for my final portfolio presentation at SCSU. Several elements were photographed on location at the New York Botanical Gardens (the central bubble abstract in the pool room, a birch fragment glowing in the afternoon sun, and Juncus Effusus from the Burle Marx exhibit this past summer). Several elements were photographed in my studio in New Haven, CT.  The central green orchid is a Paphiopedilum Citron hybrid from White Plains Orchids; and the midori green antherium and iris are from Compo Farms in Westport, CT. The fern is a box store patio plant, the red maple is on our front lawn and the majestic ginkgo is across the street.

This pano is one of two chosen as finalists for the month of December 2019:
http://www.artroomgalleryonline.com/exhibitions/2019/december_2019.html

BotanicalElements

Total Tech Trouble…

Yesterday was a tad challenging! After a 3 hr photo shoot in my newly set up downstairs studio, I put the sd card on mouse pad by the desktop before going to the gym to stretch.

It disappeared (gone), looked for an hour…this is a first…have to go back and redo the shoot…at first, frantic, then frustrated …went to sleep early…woke up resigned and determined…chalk it up to a new desktop workflow!!!
Yesterday, also decided to enter a photography competition sponsored by PDNedu (our lab at SCSU had a pile of the mags last semester, – Nikon sponsors this and it feels appropriate.  Amusingly, the write up of a student who qualifies for a Senior Citizen Discount, also may make a nice story.
Am so glad the studio is set up. Years ago, I had one in the  back of the store, Buds & Blossoms, (the paper rolled down over the books section)…it was functional and looked artsy. To the side, there was a beautiful long oval antique coffee table and a day bed with Laura Ashley material. The wallpaper matched. The sign outside was hand painted  by a phenomenal sign painter. All kinds of fine art flower books spread out, nothing commercial…even the original Martha Stewart Wedding book.
Unfortunately though, could never use the photo studio (no time after the arrangement was done and  had to be out the door).  I had  hired the then head of photography at  NYBG, Alan Rokach, to give me private lessons. At the time, I was obsessed with the challenge of photographing all white flowers and containers. We had to use hot blue bulbs to balance off  the color positive film. For someone who has straddled the digital divide, am really glad to be on this side:)…hence all the links to resources:) And, to continuing obsessions:
nextSteps
Yesterday, I found the original Ronaldo Maia Decorating With Flowers books from a back basement  room.  Inside there were few torn pages from a NYT 1999 article about a famous fashion photographer, David Seidner, who  went to Miami to photograph orchids. At the end of his very brief life, he did a beautiful very soft focus orchid series. He collaborated with Robert Fuchs who is legendary in the “orchid world.” When I first saw the soft focus series, it made much less visual and aesthetic sense to me. At the time, I was obsessed with the botanical work of Mapplethorpe. What was stored, though, was a very strong sense of fascination with the subject. Finding this article was a moment of joy!
From my current experience which is informed by many years of additional study and work, while all orchids present perfectly for literal photography, some also present as magnificently for a more abstract vision. Both approaches present new challenges.
So as 2020 arrives, here’s hoping for  smooth, botanically inspired sailing. And knowing that there will always be unfulfilled challenges.