Scanning flowers

Update: Great post by Julie over at Human Flower Project. I’ve been practicing this technique with my monthly bloom day posts and some other fiddling around:

May post (cold) | May post (hot) | Violets | April post

This morning over at Cold Climate Gardening, Kathy posted about Katinka Matson’s scanned flower art. I first became aware of this technique in a New York Times artcle (abstract only unless you have TimesSelect) by uber garden writer Ken Druse back in April 2005. He profiled artist Ellen Hoverkamp’s technique of arranging flowers on the platen of a flatbed scanner, with the resulting prints looking like old-timey pressed-flower arrangements, only with vibrant colors and 3-D effects.

my first scanBefore I even finished reading the article, I ran over to my office windowsill, snapped off whatever was flowering (violets, geraniums, fuschias), tossed them on the scanner, threw my jacket over the top, and hit scan. That’s the image there on the right. Larger image.

That doesn’t really do the technique justice. It’s just to prove that this is one of those techniques that takes a minute to learn — and a lifetime to master. In addition to Matson’s site (check out her gallery), Hoverkamp’s site offers gorgeous examples. And I stumbled across another floral scanner artist, Patri Feher.

I thank Kathy for reminding me about this technique. Maybe I’ll get into it again this year. When I do, here’s the how-to site that I’ll digest and put to good use. But in all honesty, the biggest barrier (beyond time) is that I really have a hard time cutting my best flowers off at the knees, even if they’ll be immortalized in art.

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6 thoughts on “Scanning flowers”

  1. Matson was apparently also mentioned in a NYTimes article. She lists Paul Tough, “Scanner Photography” The New York Times Magazine, December 2002 in the Bibliography section of her “About the Artist” page.

    For another way of looking at flowers, check out Floral Radiographs–x-rays of flowers.

  2. Very exciting information! I fear a new obsession coming on.
    I visited all the links you mentioned and the links on the “how-to” link and the results are beautiful. Hopefully I won’t get very good results and that will stop me…

  3. Anna Maria: I think maybe you’ve identified the reason why I never followed up on this beyond my first image. It’s definitely got the potential to become an obsession. Better yet, a passion. Please share your results so the rest of us can see and be inspired.

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