This is a white oleander flower, illuminated with ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light excites the materials the flower is made of, causing it to actually glow. The blue spots are bits of dust, mostly from paper or clothing containing optical brighteners.
Of the sunflowers I planted from a single head that have bloomed so far, this is my favorite. While most are yellow, and some are pastel, and a few have a faded red stripe, this one is both pale and reddish which gives it a coloring like slightly oxidized copper.
For a long time I’ve wanted to try 3d photos, and today I finally got around to giving it ago. All the photos are shot with twin Sony A100’s with Minolta 50mm F1.7 lenses.
To view them in 3d, cross your eyes until each image turns into two. Overlap the images and then focus on the overlapped image. If you did it right, you will see the picture in 3 dimensions instead of the ordinary two.
Don’t do it too long or your eyes will get tired!
One more jumping spider from yesterday. Wheeeee!
It’s jumping spider season again!
After seeing some UV-induced fluorescence photos, I decided to try growing flowers to do my own UV-photos. Things got out of hand when I bought a packet of giant sunflowers, and planted most of an entire head of a branching sunflower I found while out biking. What started out as being a few wildflowers, pumpkins, and carrots turned into around one hundred sunflower plants which are just starting to come into bloom.
Today I decided to step out and photograph a few of them just for Tumblr and here’s what I have got for you today.
The first is a giant sunflower which is only about 6’ tall. It was the 2nd of the flowers to bloom and is currently the second largest. For some reason my flowers refuse to face the sun so it’s actually backlit by the sun. The washed out blacks and pastel yellows are caused by that and I really like the way it looks.
The black and white photo is the center of my (currently) largest sunflower. I mostly like it because you can see in the stamen a pronounced spiral pattern which is especially obvious when the distraction of color is removed and only contrast, tones, and details remain.
The last isn’t actually washed out, but was an errant sunflower among the dozens I planted from the found sunflower head. The colors I have done my best to retain as natural, and the sort of buttery yellow is the actual color of the flower, where the rest are a vibrant and saturated yellow. Among the found seeds, I have encountered at least 4 different phenotypes.
1-Default: The head came from a branching sunflower, so the default mode is a standard yellow flower with several branches starting at different places on the stem.
2-Pale: Two of the bloomed flowers express a distinctly less saturated color, and potentially have thinner material. It’s hard to tell whether it’s due to less pigment, but they seem more translucent. The larger of them has a brighter color at the center, but paler color toward the tips.
3-Branchless: Many of the sunflowers have not and exhibit no signs of branching. It’s possible they are the result of being bred with single-stem giants or other non-branching sunflowers.
4-Explosive branching: Just one of the plants has exhibited this trait, and it is one I am extremely fond of. While the rest of the branching flowers originate new stems/buds directly above previously existing leaves, this plant suddenly entered an explosively branching mode. At least 4 buds are shooting out on individual stems, in addition to quite a few leaves. The exciting part is that they all branch from the same place on the stalk, rather like a crown. It’s shorter than the others, but the growth pattern is dramatic and its seeds will be very worth saving for next year.
Lastly, I have learned something about finches, and that is that they LOVE to eat sunflower leaves in the warmer months. With the climbing temperatures, I suddenly found the sunflowers’ leaves being reduced to skeletons near the stems. We lure lesser goldfinches to our yard with African Daisy seed, and they’re the culprit. The seed is a preferred food in colder months, but apparently when it’s warm they enjoy eating vegetation from sunflowers and related plants. They have been known to entirely strip the foliage from sunflowers, and their damage is unmistakable, being angular in cuts and in no way resembling insect damage. They apparently partake of Black-Eyed Susan foliage as well, which comes as no shock since they exhibit many similar characteristics to sunflowers.
I hope you enjoyed looking/reading and learned a thing.
Good day to you!
Queen Anne Cottage at the L.A. Arboretum, photographed in infrared.
A bench on a path at the L.A. Arboretum, photographed in infrared.