Angular, was my first impression of this unusual plant. Wondering at the name, I backed up to get a better look at it. The flowering part of this plant does bear a striking resemblance to the head of a large water bird. Thus, its other name: Crane Flower. I digress. The plant was delivered to my front door on Valentine’s day. A gift from my lovely wife. Now, I’m an old man, experienced, wise in the ways of the world. In other words, I’ve been around. But I’ve never been given flowers, until now. I was confused, speechless even, a fact that thrilled my wife. “Gotcha!” she said.
Once I got past the gotcha effect, which lasted quite a while, it became apparent I was going to have to do some serious photographic exploration of this Bird Of Paradise. Lights! Camera! Action! Away I went. Turns out, this was precisely her intent, to provide me a photographic subject I’d never seen.
The Bird Of Paradise proved a challenging photographic endeavor. It’s big. The flowering part is the size of a hand-held fan and the front to back distance is larger than it appears. Depth of field experiments went on for most of the afternoon. The more images I made the more intriguing certain parts of the plant became. Close-ups, macros, super macros and I have a long relationship. My fascination with the wonder of how the natural world is put together has been a part of my thought process for as long as I’ve had a thought process. Close examination of the Bird Of Paradise went on for two days with hundreds of images made from hundreds of angles with hundreds of lighting techniques.
The winnowed images from this shoot have been gathered into a gallery at photophart.com. A couple were impressive enough that I’m offering them as art prints as well. The black and white HERE. The color version HERE.