Picture of the month - July 2004

Dissolved Hibiscus

Hibiscus  (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

This hibiscus flower detail, photographed in 11/1999, is obviously not a typical "nature photography" or wildlife picture. It originates from the insane brain of a fanatic believing in the fact, that a picture depicting beautiful nature might be improved by manipulation. Well, judge yourself ...

The original picture was taken on the Mainau Island in Germany- an insiders' tip for aficionados of flowers and plants. I used my EOS50E with an EF100mm/2,8 Makro and took the picture on Kodak EBX100 (Extra Colour), a film I just recently had found to be interesting and being from colour point of view close to my favorite - Fuji Velvia 50.

The more important part came afterwards at home (besides the typical selection of 10 pictures from 10 films ...): Putting the slide of choice into distilled water in a container, and carefully watching it without any movement for about 2-3 days in average. The coated side muss be upwards and always exposed to water. Finally distinguish the right moment to stop the watering - handle the "dissolved" slide very carefully when taking it out of the water. Actually the best is to suck out the water of the container e.g. with a syringe. As little movement to the container itself and the water in it is essential to conserve the figures the dissolvement process on the slides' surface created.

After it is finally dried - and still fits your taste - don't hesitate to make some duplicates and scan it. The dissolved and dried surface is still quite mechanically sensitive - and it would be a pity to loose the picture after all the work ...

For me the emerging alienations by dissolving slides are fascinating - and very seldomly become that nice than in this special picture. Around 20-30 tries on several pictures I had to perform until this result came out.

Happy experimenting,
your Mr. Mooseman !