I have no green thumbs. My "garden" at home consists of a few very hardy thyme and rosemary bushes that would probably take a blow torch to kill. So when I chose flowers and plants as a primary subject for my studio work, it seemed an oddity.
My unusual photographic technique and love of printing led me to plants as subjects. I use photographic scanners - camera-less recorders- to make very high resolution digital images of things. Small objects with interesting detail. I started with shells, fossils. The results were interesting and yielded the digital real-estate necessary to make very large prints. (I had just purchased a mega-sized Epson printer which could make 40" prints and beyond, and I was hungry for BIG files.)
My first flowers were purchased at Winston Flowers in Boston. For those of you who know Winston Flowers, you know what I mean when I say they have perfect blooms. Not a petal out of place. I bought a bouquet of white daisies and got scanning. The result was rather shocking. There was this fantastic layering withing the flower center and astounding patterning that I had not detected before. (See above.) The recorded image revealed a level of complexity that was really incredible, and even picked up the face of a tiny tick coming out from behind a petal. (Which was vanquished using PhotoShop - an artistic choice and because I thought a tick would be a hard sell in the art market.)
I've since photographed (recorded) over 40 plants and flowers. The patterns are unique to each flower, each more interesting than the last. I had no concept of the incredible intricacy and stunning detail to be found in familiar plants - marigolds, daisies, hydrangea, black-eyed Susans. The closer the view - the greater the complexity. It's as if plants are hiding their true, most beautiful features from us commoners with limited vision!
The scanning technique, which I do in a completely darkened studio, results in a rich black background, which really showcases these jewels of nature. The flower images look three dimensional - like they're contained in deep shadow boxes. However this is an illusion. The light source in the scanner is a front light which very slowly passes over and records each flower within a very shallow depth (only about an inch.) This consistent, even lighting and incredibly rich recording give a greater sense of "life" to these images, more than most photographs I've seen which were made using fixed lens cameras. And the real bonus is the capacity to print really large. These images are recorded at the largest file size my computer will allow, many hundreds of megabytes (500-600 M on average.) I've make prints up to 50" with this series, and the larger the print the more astounding the detail and beauty that is revealed.
I hope you like my garden. I enjoy growing this collection.
Cindy Vallino is the founder and owner of the FOCUS Galleries. She has received many awards for her floral collection and the images have been widely published. Prints from this series are top sellers in both gallery locations.