This image of the core of a papaver nudicaule gone to seed reminds me of pinwheel fireworks.

Very carefully, I poked a toothpick up the stem of the flower core. With the toothpick adding some rigidity, I used modeling paste to hold the flower core upright. I had to be very careful handling the thing. Poppies are delicate flowers, and in nature a poppy core like the one I was photographing would disintegrate on its own in a matter of hours or minutes (depending on the wind). The slightest touch on a pistil or seed would detach it.

Next, I darkened the room. I set the camera on manual and held the shutter open. I made multiple exposures with an unsynched small flash (one of my Nikon SB200 units), each time covering the flash head with a different-colored plastic filter.

The rest was in Photoshop, assembling the individual images together with layers and masking.

This entry was posted in Flowers, Photography.

One Comment

  1. Mathieu November 1, 2006 at 5:19 pm #

    Wonderful idea. The technique meets the subject and out comes your vision.

    Beautiful shot, thank you for sharing!

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] ). All goes to show that flower photography can be a ruthless business. Related stories: Fireworks, Zen and the Single Poppy, Popping, .

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  2. […] To create the photo composition, I used layers and layer masking in Photoshop to combine Papaver Fireworks with the image below. The bottom image is itself a photo composition I’ve cal […]

  3. By Using LAB Color Adjustments | Photoblog 2.0 on August 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    […] Fireworks (Papaver), photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger. Read the original story featuring this image. […]

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