Saturday 30th January 2016 was the official opening of my exhibition, Flosculus, at MOMA Machynlleth. There was a good turn out and quite a bit of interest in the photographs from members of the public and other artists. Below are a few images of the exhibition, if you’re interested in seeing it for yourself, MOMA Machynlleth is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. All the works in the exhibition are for sale and there is also a selection of greetings cards featuring some of the flowers available from the shop at the gallery.
Below are questions that were asked quite often and some more information about how the photographs were taken.
What does Flosculus Mean?
Flosculus is latin for small flower. Although several of the flowers in the photographs are in fact weeds.
Are the background colours real?
Yes the background colours are as they were taken with the camera. All the flowers were picked and placed in front of a coloured background, most were taken against different colours then the shade or colour that is most complementary or highlights the most detail in the flowers was chosen. The shade of the background or effects such as the background fading from one colour to another can be changed by different lighting.
How did you take the photographs?
The photographs were taken with a Canon 650D with various lenses through extension tubes. Using extension tubes causes the lens to move further away from the camera sensor. This extra distance allows the camera to focus on objects that are closer to the front of the lens than normal and so increases the magnification. A lens with a shorter focal length magnifies more than a longer focal length.
Using extension tubes has an advantage of being much cheaper than a dedicated macro lens and allows existing lenses to be used but a downside is that the depth of field is very narrow. The depth of field can be increased by reducing the aperture (setting the lens to a high f-stop) but this in turn reduces the amount of light that can reach the sensor so lighting the flowers is very important.
The flowers were photographed in a small desktop lightbox with lighting being provided by a couple of external flashes outside the lightbox.
What does Lambda Print mean?
A Lambda Print is a digital print produced using Durst’s Lambda machine – a photographic printing machine that uses lasers to produce digital c-type prints on light-sensitive silver halide paper. The photographs are then developed using a traditional photochemical process to produce a print with colours that should last at least 75 years.
Where are the flowers from?
All of the flowers, except the Lady’s Mantle and the Lavender, were found within 100 metres of my home. Either in the garden or found growing on the side of the road.
How small are the flowers?
The size of the flowers range from one of the largest flowers, a Daisy, at a diameter 2-3cm down to the smallest, Lady’s Mantle, at a diameter of only a few millimetres. A single Lady’s Mantle flower is barely bigger than a pinhead, as seen in the image below.