Search Results for: alstro

Light Box Floral Composition with Sunflowers, Irises, Alstromerias, and Glads

I’ve been taking advantage of my interlude at home (being at home for me has become increasingly rare in recent years and hence an unexpected pleasure) to photograph flowers on the light box. It’s fun doing this surrounded by family, as in “Don’t move, Daddy’s exposing!”

I photographed this relatively complex composition using my Photographing Flowers for Transparency set of techniques in two panels, with six exposures each. In post-production, first I combined the exposures, then I put the two panels together to create the composition.

Floral Composition © Harold Davis

I used an LAB color invert adjustment, and some fairly simple LAB tweaks, to created an inverted version of the original composition, on a black background rather than on white.

Floral Composition Inversion © Harold Davis

What do I do when I am at home fooling around with flowers? Here are some other recent stories: Black Dahlia; Rose Rose in Rose and Black and White; Pretty in Pink; and Flowers for Kwangsik. Also check out Of Beauty and Art, The Long and Winding Road Takes the Path Less Traveled; and an announcement of an upcoming exhibition of my work (opening November 9, 2017).

Posted in Flowers

Alstromeria World

Alstromeria World

Alstromeria World, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I photographed this handsome bouquet of Peruvian Lilies—Alstromeria—straight down with a fisheye lens with the idea of creating a round world effect using the flowers.

Fisheye close-ups of flowers are surprisingly difficult to pull-off from a technical perspective. Here are a couple of other shots that I think work: Lensbaby Fisheye and Passiflora. Here’s another cool shot of Alstromeria—they are beautiful flowers indeed!

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Alstroemeria Medley

Alstroemeria Medley

Alstroemeria Medley, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

I shot these alstroemeria blossoms (Peruvian Lilies) on a lightbox. I combined seven exposures at shutters speeds ranging from 1/4 of a second to 5 seconds. Each exposure was shot at f/64 and ISO 100, all were (of course) tripod mounted with great care taken not to move the camera between exposures. I used my 85mm perspective correcting macro lens.

I used layers and masking in Photoshop to combined the exposures. The hand-HDR process was biased towards overexposure because this tends to emphasize transparency.

The black background was accomplished with a LAB channel inversion. You’ll find this technique explained briefly on my blog and in greater detail in The Photoshop Darkroom.

Overall, I think the result looks much more like a painting than a photograph—a good thing in this case.

Related stories: Meditations on Transparency; Cherry Medley; Poppies En Masse.

Posted in Flowers, Photography, Photoshop Techniques

Alstromeria Medley

Alstromeria Medley on White

Alstromeria Medley on White, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Briefly noted: While photographing the Helleborus, I also placed these alstromeria blossoms on the lightbox; the black variation is a luminance inversion of the original capture.

Alstromeria Medley on Black

View this image larger.

Posted in Flowers, Photography


I’ve never blogged this photogram of a Peruvian Lily (Alstromeria), and looking at it again I think it’s worthy.

Posted in Flowers, Photograms, Photography

Petals on a Plate

I have got a great deal of mileage over the years from Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily) petals. These petals are shown in this photo on a decorative glass plate on my light box. Compared to other flower petals, they seem to work particularly well with light coming through them, backlit on a light box. This is due to the translucency of the alstroemeria petal, their variability in color, and variegated patterns and markings.

Petals on a Plate © Harold Davis

It’s hard to know where to begin with my images that use these flower petals, but a few that I like are Floral Composition, Alstroemeria Medley, Petals on Parade, New Year’s Dragon, Spiral of Flower Karma, It Starts with a Petal and Ends with a Twist of Fate, Floral Tondo, and Flowers on Ebony and Ivory. Selected images from these blog stories are shown below.

Floral Composition © Harold Davis

Alstroemeria Medley © Harold Davis

Petals on Parade © Harold Davis

Petals on Parade © Harold Davis

New Year’s Dragon on Black © Harold Davis

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

A Simple Twist of Fate 4 © Harold Davis

Floral Tondo 1 © Harold Davis

Will You Won’t You Join the Dance © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Petals on Parade

These two “petal-pushing” images start with a composition of alstroemeria petals, photographed for high-key HDR on a light box. 

Petals on Parade on Black © Harold Davis

Petals on Parade on Black © Harold Davis

The image with a black background (shown above) is an LAB L-channel inversion of the original image on white, shown below.

Petals on Parade © Harold Davis

Petals on Parade © Harold Davis

Generally, with light box compositions, the most important issue is the arrangement, a/k/a the composition. By the way, this is a statement that could be made (and has been made) about photography in general.

Arrangement needs structure. One of the most common structures for light box compositions is the Mandala. Another is the bouquet (click here for an example).

Can you identify the visual structure underlying the Petals on Parade images?

Posted in Abstractions, Flowers

New Year’s Dragon

This dragon was constructed on a light box, using petals from alstroemerias (“Peruvian lilies”), and other flowers. It is wishing you a creative, exciting, and more generally positive year ahead!

New Year’s Dragon on Black © Harold Davis

New Year’s Dragon © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Spiral of Flower Karma

To create this image, I soaked some chrysanthemum flowers (just the blossoms) and alstromeria (Peruvian Lily) petals overnight to make the flowers pliable. The fuchsias come fresh from my garden. The spiral was as large as I could create using two old, used baking sheets as the background.

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

Spiral of Flower Karma © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Sunflower Mandala

The Peruvian lily (botanically alstroemeria), or “Lily of the Incas,” was once limited to two small ranges in South America, one blooming in the winter (Chile), and one in the summer (Brazil). Hybridization across the winter and summer species, starting in the 1980s in Holland, led to today’s flower that is a staple of the modern commercial flower industry—and is green and growing most of the year in our garden. The genus alstroemeria was named after the Swedish baron Clas Alströmer, a close friend of Linnaeus, he of the classifications.

Sunflower Mandala (Black) © Harold Davis

Petals from the alstroemeria are wonderfully translucent, colorful, and a great palette for my light box compositions when the blossoms are dissected. As a last light box hurrah before my month-long upcoming trip, I pulled a collection of alstroemeria petals apart, and arranged them around a sunflower. Katie, wandering through the living room, took a look at the proceedings—and indicated her disapproval of the deconstruction of a “living thing,” the Peruvian lily flowers.

Sunflower Mandala (White) © Harold Davis

Posted in Abstractions, Flowers

Top Photography Blog Honor; More Fusion X-Rays

I am honored to be included as one of the top fifteen photography blogs in the English language worldwide. This is good company to be in. Thanks for the award!

Moving on, here are two more fusion light box (Flowers for Transparency) and x-ray images, one of Cala Lilies and the other of Alstroemerias. It has been really fun working with Julian to create these images, and I look forward to using conventional cameras and medical x-ray imaging gear to make and process more imagery.

Cala Lilies Fusion X-Ray © Harold Davis

Alstroemerias X-Ray Fusion © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography, X-Ray

New Year’s Day Design

I spent part of my day on January 1, 2018 making a floral design on a light box while listening to Bob Dylan (still hard to think of him as a Nobel-prize laureate!). Phyllis helped me separate Alstromeria petals by color and shape, and I arranged the petals in concentric rings around an Asiatic Lily. This is somewhat the same idea as A Palette of Petals.

Ring Theory on Black © Harold Davis

Ring Theory on White © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers

A Palette of Petals

On Christmas Day, the guests had left. The presents were unwrapped and enjoyed. OK, I admit I’d heard the yodeling pickle (a gag gift that Julian got for Mathew) one too many times. The chocolate coins had been unwrapped and demolished. The kids headed for their headsets and computer games of galactic conquest.

Floral Mandala on Black © Harold Davis

In the peace that descended, I got out my light box and placed it on a low table in the living room. Phyllis helped me work through two bunches of Alstromeria, gently taking the petals off the flowers, and separating the petals into four categories.

Floral Mandala on White © Harold Davis

With my “palette of petals,” I arranged the mandala shape shown here. Nicky and Mathew helped me carefully lift the light box to the floor. With the added height I was now able to obtain, I photographed the composition with my Zeiss 55mm Otus using my Nikon D850, and processed a blend of photos for high-key HDR. The white floral mandala that resulted is shown immediately above.

Taking the image on white, I used an L-channel inversion in Photoshop’s LAB color to place the mandala on a black background, as shown at the beginning of this story.

Happy holidays to one and all, and may good will reign privately and publicly!

Posted in Flowers, Photography

It Starts with a Petal and Ends with a Twist of Fate

It started with two wonderful bunches of alstromerias (“Peruvian Lilies”), one purple and one yellow. On the alstromeria flower, the blossoms have exterior petals that are mostly solid colors (e.g., somewhat translucent, but without markings). In addition, there are usually three interior petals on each blossom that are mostly “tiger striped”—and great for transparency on the light box. You can get a good close-up look at both kinds of alstromeria petals in another of my blog stories.

Alstromeria Petal Mandala © Harold Davis

After we’d enjoyed the flowers for a while, I decided to use the interior, tiger-striped petals to make a pattern. My idea was to create two concentric spirals, one from the purple petals, and one from the yellow petals.

A Simple Twist of Fate © Harold Davis

This is a design that is somewhat maze-like in nature, and I have been drawing this double spiral as long as I can remember (essentially, this is a floral version of the doodle that got me through the boredom of law school many years ago!). The finished version, depending on how you look at things (and I have heard all of these by now), can be a maze, the spiral galaxy, a school of fish, human spermatozoa, a giant’s fingerprint—or even (in the school of a pipe sometimes just being a pipe!)—flower petals.

A Simple Twist of Fate 2 © Harold Davis

With the version on white (shown at the top of this story) I thought I was done, but of course, for the wicked as for the artist, there is never any rest! No, I in truth I am not seriously wicked. Alas, as much as I might like to be a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “bad boy” I am probably not wicked at all.

I had great fun inverting the original image in LAB color in Photoshop, creating a straight “translation” of whites to black and blacks to white (the “straight” LAB inversion is the first A Simple Twist of Fate image above).

A Simple Twist of Fate 3 © Harold Davis

Looking at the simple inversion, I immediately I thought of Paul Klee, and color field painters such as Kenneth Noland and Larry Poons from the 1960s. This made me feel impelled to have fun with more complex LAB manipulations, shown here with a black background.

As you can see, it all started with a flower petal, and ended in a simple twist of fate! Of course, the intermediate steps required a certain delicacy in handling and “drawing” with flower petals, not to mention expertise in high-key HDR photography, Photoshop workflow, and creative uses of LAB.

A Simple Twist of Fate 4 © Harold Davis

Which version is your favorite (and how twisted is fate?)?

I am looking forward to printing these six images as an ensemble. A very special thanks (and a very deep discount) to any of my collectors (or a new collector) who would like to place an advance order for one of these prints—or, better yet, for the suite of all six prints (contact me to discuss, or if interested, for details of this offer)!

A Simple Twist of Fate 5 © Harold Davis

Posted in Patterns, Photograms

Pretty in Pink

The upper image shows Anemones and Alstromerias (“Peruvian lilies”) from my garden, both pink flowers, and if you look carefully, two butterflies as well. I used a slightly modified technique for Pretty in Pink when I photographed it the other day, compared to my orthodox Photographing Flowers for Transparency approach, because I photographed the composition in three separate batches (anemones, alstromerias, and butterflies) and then combined the sections in post-production—which is also the approach I took with Practicum Perluciditatem, shown at the bottom of this story, although the visual point of the image (made back in 2015) is quite different since it is really about translucency.

Pretty in Pink © Harold Davis


Practicum Perluciditatem © Harold Davis

Posted in Flowers