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Flower Power!

Published December 16th, 2011

As an aging hippie, I suppose it is only right that I have been accepted into a juried show at the 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles titled "Flower Power." One of the lasting iconic photographs of that time (and there are many) is of a beautiful young hippie girl placing a flower in the upturned barrel of a rifle being held by a National Guardsman. The power of the flower and earnest social protest has not dimmed over time as evidenced by recent events in the Middle East and, now, the Western world.

The image chosen for this exhibit is one of my early scanner pieces titled "Phormium 2." It was composed directly on the glass of my flatbed scanner, using Dahlia blossoms and the buds from a Phormium plant in my backyard. Using the arc of the buds as a repeating element that holds the composition together, I was conscious of feeling like a painter and laying down brushstrokes. It is one of my favorite images from that period of time.

I discovered the process of making images with a flatbed scanner quite by accident. I use an Epson Expressions 10000XL. It has a large 11 x 17" bed and a removable top. I turn out all the lights in my studio when making the exposure; that gives me the black background. The detail in these images is amazing and can't really be appreciated on a web page. The original file size is usually around 300 Megabytes!

The biggest challenge when making scanner art is just that: "making" vs "taking" an image. Starting with nothing and ending with something worthy of attention is a difficult, yet incredibly rewarding, experience. I've been working in this field for about five years now, and continue to look for ways to make new and exciting imagery.

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Angelika Schwarz (inactive)  almost 5 years ago
Looks like a painting. I never heard of scanner art...but that doesn't mean much, since i'm new here and an amatuer photographer. Just wanted to say that this is very impressive.
Penny McClintock  almost 5 years ago
You have awakened an interest in scanner art in a former (almost) flower child. Thanks for the inspiration.