Make a wish?

Some people see weeds, others choose to make a wish! That is the beauty of dandelion clocks and what we love about them. Here at Rose Filtered we love to make a wish on a dandelion and our latest series of fine art photography prints captures the magical nature of dandelion clocks. If you look closely they are made up of such interesting shapes and structure. This print is very close to our hearts as the time and effort put into ‘deconstructing a dandelion clock’ is substantial.

Firstly there is the challenge of finding the ‘perfect’ looking clock… who knew there could be so much variation, fluffy ones, sparse one, dog eared, extra large, petite and delicate… lots of variation and lots to choose from!  Getting it home in-tact is challenge number two, which might not sound difficult, however it is very challenging given we live on the top of a hill in a village often called ‘Windy Whickham’ in the North east of England! For our new series of prints we resorted to constructing a ‘dandelion holder’ using a cardboard box and skewers… as I said lots of time and effort. Then their is the patience of a saint that is required as well a some very good tweezers and a very steady hand. The number of times the shot has been set up and ready and the waft of a Labrador tail and it’s back to step one. Anyway we got there (eventually) and we’re very pleased with the results…

Our classic monochrome ‘Deconstructed dandelion clock’ print is now available in a beautiful soft sky blue as well as our original black and white print.

We’ve also added a series of individual prints called ‘Make a wish’. These prints are soft and dreamy in delicate colours, they would make fabulous nursery prints or complement feminine decor such as bedrooms or living areas in pastel shades. ‘Make a wish’ is available in soft duck egg blue or delicate pastel pink…

The final addition to our dandelion clock series is an individual monochrome print called ‘Fly away’ that would look at home in any modern living area. The image captures dandelion seeds blowing away but has a more minimalist contemporary feel that would suit most neutral and modern home decor schemes.

So there you have it – our latest dandelion collection. So whether it’s a dandelion to add some interest to your walls, if you’re thinking of a gift idea for a nature lover or you know someone like us who loves to make a wish on a dandelion… the prints are available to buy at either of our online shops… for UK shoppers see our brand NEW Folksy shop: www.rosefiltered.folksy.com or international shoppes can buy our prints in our Etsy store: www.rosfiltered.etsy.com.

The recipe for deconstructing a dandelion clock

Ingredients

  • Canon EOS 450D
  • Sigma DC 18-50 f2.8 EX lens
  • Tripod
  • An intact dandelion clock
  • Blu-tack
  • Tweezers
  • Black bed sheet
  • Too much time on my hands
  • Persistence
  • A healthy amount of anal retentiveness

Method

Step 1 – find a healthy looking dandelion clock

This proved to be an easy task. I went down to my local park and they were there in abundance. I selected the best looking one then realised what step two would entail….

Step 2 – get in-tact dandelion clock back home

Given these things have evolved to be masters of wind borne seed dispersal this was not as easy as I first thought. Let’s just say my journey home attracted a few strange looks from passers-by.

Step 3 – set up studio

My original plan was to photograph the dandelion in colour against a black background. I hung the black bed sheet on the wall behind the dining room table which was positioned next to a south facing window for optimum natural light conditions. I set up my tripod and placed a reflector (home made from scrunched up tin-foil stuck to a piece of card. Hey – it works brilliantly) opposite the window to reflect some natural light and fill the shadows.

Step 4 – get photographing!

The first photo was of the whole dandelion clock. This proved to be the easiest shot as it was a case of simply holding the dandelion in front of the lens. I don’t own a dedicated macro lens (though I would love one) but my trusty Sigma lens has a very close minimum focussing distance which came in very handy here. I shot at the maximum focal length of 50mm and went for an aperture of f11 to give good overall sharpness but soften the edges of the seeds.

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Step 5 – deconstruct

Once I was happy with the ‘full clock’ photo I started the deconstructed images. I began by carefully removing an individual seed using a secretly commandeered pair of Leanne’s eyebrow tweezers (shhh.. don’t tell her) and positioning it in front of the lens, rooted in a blob of blu-tack. I moved the camera in as close as my lens would allow at 50mm and shot at f16 for good depth of field. All that was left was  a bit of Photoshop work to re-create the bottom of the seed that had been lost in the blu-tack.

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Step 6 – the ring of irritation (yes, I realise how that sounds…)

I had subconsciously left the most challenging shot until last. I wanted a perfect circle of individual dandelion seeds to mirror the shape of the original dandelion clock but show a simple, uncluttered composition highlighting the essence of the dandelion. All very well in theory – not so easy in practice! Employing the same blu-tack tweezer method as for the single seed I intricately placed 7 seeds in a perfect semi-circle…… did I say perfect semi-circle? Well, after reviewing the first batch of shots they were all far from perfect. This is where I had to draw on my many hours of playing Operation as a child. If I could remove all those organs without a single buzz then I could damn well make a perfect semi-circle of dandelion seeds! After a LOT of intricate tweezer work I eventually got a shot I was happy with (the persistence and healthy amount of anal retentiveness well and truly used up by this point).

Next up was a lot of intricate Photoshop work to clone out the blu-tack and re-create the missing seed ends.

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Step 7 – Computer time

To create the full circle of seeds I took the semi-circle image and flipped it 180 degrees to create the bottom half of the circle then cloned out the overlapping seeds. So now I had my final set of dandelion images against a black background but I wasn’t happy with the final look. I played around with the levels but still wasn’t happy with them. I decided to try inverting the images in Photoshop. This converted the black background to white and turned the dandelions blue – a little strange, so I desaturated the images to make them black and white and adjusted the levels to improve the contrast.

Conclusion

I finished off with some careful cropping and finally ended up with a set of images I was pleased with. I hope you enjoy them too! Our deconstructed dandelion print is available to buy here in our Etsy shop.

 

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