Tulips Under Pressure

April 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment
Orange tulipOrange tulipThe original image.

I love floral photography, particularly close-up or macro. It's nothing but pure joy. But when the need arose to replace a photograph I'd taken three years ago in a hurry, I scrambled to come up with a suitable substitute. It had turned out the original file, a close-up of a deep orange tulip, taken with my first DSLR, a 15-megapixel crop sensor model, didn't have enough data to enlarge to the size the project called for.

Hubby was wonderful and managed to scoop up a bouquet of orange and yellow tulips on the way home from work. My first attempts at re-creating the art were less than satisfactory for the project, though pretty.

Orange tulip three-quartersOrange tulip three-quartersFirst attempt. Orange tulip halfOrange tulip halfSecond try; getting closer. The project in question was art for a large expanse of wall in a private office, so I thought back to a photography class assignment from a few years ago to create a diptych. I thought I'd try shooting two halves of the same tulip, so when the images were hung together, they'd create one humongous tulip. Little did I know what I was in for.

The flowers had been stored in the fridge, and whenever I pulled them out to photograph them, they immediately began to open in earnest. I had to work super fast to get halves that were relatively symmetrical, shooting for a few minutes, then putting the flowers back in the fridge for a few hours to get them to close back up again. The process took three days.

The other complication was my tripod; it has rubber feet that hold firmly to our laminate floor. I got the idea to put socks on them so they'd slide sideways so I'd be shooting each half from the same angle. 

To get the flowers to fill the frame from top to bottom, I had to pull out my old 20mm Kenko extension tube from my pre-macro lens days and attach it to my Canon 100mm f/2.8 L macro lens, the first time I've had to do that. It worked pretty well, as you'll see below.  While the two halves aren't perfectly symmetrical, they're interesting to look at. The client really liked the idea of a diptych, and loved the resulting image. 

Here it is, pieced together in Photoshop: 

Half-and-HalfHalf-and-HalfTulip diptych for a client.

All in a (three) day's work! 

~ glo

 

 

 

 


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