The plants speak for themselves. Unlike the majority of my plant portrait projects that are in situ, this is in the studio.

Specific Feedback Requested

Since the flowers are heavy and opaque, the rear lightbox flash was full power to burn the background thoroughly, but the box was as far as possible from the plants to avoid a corona from light bleeding around the edges. More time was taken on two front flashes to light the disk flowers but retain some translucency of the ray flowers.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D-850, Zeiss 100 mm, f22.

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Paul: A stunningly beautiful portrait of a very nice arrangement. You’ve certainly mastered this technique.
On an administrative note, please resize your images for posting to somewhere near 1500-2000 pixels on the long side and a max file size of no more than 10mb. Posting full size images taxes the server some, makes the image an inviting target for image thieves and makes it difficult to view the fully enlarged image. Thanks for your consideration. >=))>

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Sorry, I’m on the road and working from my iPad and haven’t learned to size images yet.



This is a gem. Once you get back from your trip feel free to post a resized image. This will be fun to look at with a full size image. Awesome technique…Jim

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How’s this size? I dug around and found a way to prepare Lightroom mobile files at specific sizes and in the sRGB color gaumet.

Paul: Much better. Thanks so much for your consideration. >=))>


Thank you. I appreciate your positive comments.

I dug around and found a way to resize and change the color gaumet in Lightroom Mobile. The new image is now in place.


This and another more recent one feel very different from the others that more closely resemble botanical prints of past centuries. They pop and are very eye-catching. On the whole I prefer this view of sunflowers than van Gogh’s version (and I LOVE his work generally and spent 1/2 a day at the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam). I think the spirit of this flower is captured even in this artificial environment. They’re bright, stalwart flowers that have nothing to hide and only bring joy. Well done.

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Thanks Kris,

This is one of my favorites.

This is a commissioned work for Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Phipps had an exhibition highlighting the works of van Gogh recreated in floral plantings. Individual paintings were selected for each display room and the plants in those rooms reflected the colors, shapes, and other aspects of the paintings.

The designer asked if I would make portraits of each of the plants highlighted in each painting. Of course, sunflowers was one plant. I did grape vines, wheat, olive branches, coneflowers, and others. It was great fun working with the designer to get just the right look. The portraits were displayed in the lobby of the glass house as an introduction to the show.

Here’s a link to the exhibition.

I shoot for Phipps (website, marketing, social media, brochures, etc.) on a regular basis so I was in the right place at the right time.

Doing guided projects is very satisfying and are a great way to hone skills.

You got me thinking about the different feel of this image as opposed to others that are more botanical illustration, and I went back and see what you meant. You’re absolutely right.

I think working in the studio is a lot less constraining and allows for more latitude to arrange, pose, experiment, and play. That shows in the final image.

“Studio” sounds so stuffy. Mind is pretty much the same as yours as pictured in the arrangements you have been showing. I just don’t have the cool bean bag that you have, which is not figurative but a real bag of beans.

Thanks again for the kind words.

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This is stunning. Thank you for the back story.

Technically perfect, great subject and interesting composition. Excellent image.

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