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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hollyhocks and Peppermint


I love it when flowers have large blossoms because they take up a lot of space.....And to be able to photograph flowers which seem SO much a part of the past - WOW!!!!

BUT.......hollyhocks DO have major photographing problems.

1. The flower stems are extremely tall - some over 6 feet!
2. Their seed pods makes the stems top heavy which causes the stem to twirl around and difficult to arrange in a vase.
3. When you are in the flower garden you pretty much have to decide which stem to cut into. A stem may have over 25 unopened buds on it, 3 blossoms in full bloom, 1 blossom starting to open, and 7 seed pods. And everything seems to be randomly placed on the stem. You might have 1 full blossom 5 inches down from the top of the stem.....then another flower in full bloom 7 inches further down........
4. And hollyhocks are biannual.

Now back to the above image.

I chose a few stems which had blossoms close to the top. Because the blooms were toward the top, I was able to leave most of the stem still intact with the plant for further blooming.

I then picked some fresh peppermint to add a different color to the picture and to add more foliage to the image.

I chose cream color material for the foreground and background because I knew I was going to add a light colored textured background later with the computer.

After I shot the picture I wanted, I downloaded it into the computer and placed a textured layer over the hollyhock image. I adjusted the opacity and then I went into Photoshop Elements 3 and used the pastel filter. Because I wanted to offset the brightness of the pastel image, I went back and made a layer of the pastel filter and placed it over the combined textured layer/hollyhock image and then adjusted the pastel image's opacity.

Challenge for today:

Hurry up and plant those hollyhock seeds. You still might be able to get some blooms next year. But you have to hurry now!!!!!!

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