February 24, 2008

A Chilling Experiment

A couple of months ago, ViewPoint Gallery moved from their original location to a street level address downtown (1272 Barrington Street); as part of the relocation, the landlord provided us with a new concrete floor. Once the floor had been finished, the gallery members had a little evening party to celebrate the new location. The next day, I dropped by the gallery, and noticed a carnation frozen in condensation that had run down the single-pane windows (new concrete gives off lots of water!).
Digital original
For a while, that image, of a flower encased in a block of ice was stuck in my head, and in an effort to both exorcise it, and to see where the idea would lead, I threw a flower into some water-filled Tupperware, and put it into my freezer. The next morning, a surprise greeted me when I popped the ice block out of the containers.
Digital original
Almost every side of the ice block presented something interesting to photography; from one side, the ice was a mass of bubbled, with only a hint of colour from the flower within, while on other sides the flower itself emerged from the bubbles as if it was surfacing within a sea of white. I set up some studio lights, and put the ice block within a light tent to even the lighting out, and began to photograph the flower within the ice.
Digital original
In the end, the experience of working with the flower in ice has left me hungry for more. There were some technical issues which I need to overcome, and I wonder what other flowers will do in the same environment (can you call a block of ice an environment), but overall for a first stab a totally new direction, I am pleased with the results.

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