Shooting the other day at Blake Garden I notice a glorious stand of red poppies. I asked for permission to cut a bunch and bring them home to my studio, which was very graciously granted.
Using my lightbox, I shot this arrangement with my camera on a tripod using eight exposures. Each exposure was at f/13 and ISO 200. Shutter speeds ranged from 1/100 of a second to 2 seconds. The flowers were lit from the front by controlled natural light.
The idea of this kind of High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing is to throw away the dark side. By processing only high-key exposure for HDR I am able to create an image with an illusion of transparency.
To finish the image, I used Photoshop to place it on a background of scanned paper. I added a texture to the top of image using Saturation Blending mode to help partially give the image the feeling of a botanical illustration—albeit a botanical illustration created with the new tools of digital art and a modern sensibility.
My print of this image on Washi rice paper will be on exhibit at a forthcoming exhibit of botanical photographic art that benefits the San Francisco Botanical Society.