It has been said that flowers are Mother Nature’s fireworks. The same can be said for lightning, but we prefer the serenity flowers as photographic subjects.
It is also said that we look but we do not see. We believe this to be true particularly with flowers. A passing glance reveals brilliant colors, shapes as diverse as nature herself, and movement in outdoor environments. But, when we take the time to examine a single bloom, texture, structure, and the individuality of each bloom is seen, perhaps for the first time. The inherent distractions of backgrounds in natural environments can hamper appreciation for what can be seen with careful observation. For that reason we photograph our subjects mostly in studio. By removing all distractions, focus is directed to the intricacies of the flower.
Our process begins with locating the flowers we want to photograph. Some we grow, others we find in public spaces, and others we purchase. Each flower has its own personality and characteristics. Based on our observations and our initial vision, we endeavor to arrange the blooms to convey a feeling of movement. For our studio work we use black backgrounds. Black backgrounds create the most contrast with the bloom and eliminate distractions that are present in natural environments. We use a technique called light painting to illuminate our subjects. LED flashlights are used to project pure white light from different directions. Flashlight technique is critical. Intensity, duration, and direction all impact the final image. The camera is on a tripod and cannot move as multiple exposures are taken. With each exposure light is projected from a different direction. As many as 50 exposures are taken.
These exposures are immediately loaded onto a computer for review. We then select from three to fifteen exposures, again, each with different lighting, for a process called layering. In Photoshop the selected images are stacked like a deck of cards. The number of exposures and the stacking order are altered until we either achieve the desired effect or we determine that we need to re-shoot the sequence. We may go through many iterations before we achieve what we initially envisioned, or something totally unexpected happens! Once we have a final image, we remove any supporting structure that was used to support the flowers during shooting. We make adjustments in Photoshop to compensate for the camera's inability to completely capture what was observed during shooting. The application of pure white LED light in a darkened room brings out colors, textures and depth not normally observed in nature. Our waterlily images are shot in place in natural light using traditional photographic techniques. It is obviously impossible to move waterlilies to our studio. These images are single exposures.
We print our small matted prints in house on metallic photo paper. Our larger display pieces are infused onto metal by a professional lab under our direction and control. Unframed images in various sizes can be ordered directly from this web site. Depending on size, unframed images will have either a float mount or exhibit mount, photos of each are included in the descriptions of each image. Exhibit mounts will come with a wire and a French cleat for hanging. Use the option that best meets the requirements of your space.
Contact us directly to inquire about non-standard sizes, other options for display such as framed metal prints or traditional framing, or with any questions you may have.
So, the images you see at an art show or on our website are compositions involving discovery, sculpture, engineering, lighting, photography, computer based editing and printing on carefully sourced materials.
Our work is based on our original photographs, using techniques designed to expose hidden "treasures" not usually observed in natural light. “Bella Fiore” is Italian for Beautiful Flower. We hope you agree. If not, thanks for stopping by anyway.