Flora

One of my goals for 2017’s Competition Season is to create a three-dimensional lenticular print with my camera gear.  I’ve come up with several ideas and concepts, and depending on how things go, I hope to have something that will dazzle.  And although I have had some successful lenticular “magic motion” prints have done well in the past – photos like Vivaldi’s Pond and Re-Lighting L-Ken’s and Lauren and the Leaves – I’m still not satisfied.  I can’t settle for “just good enough.”

Last Monday, I took my cameras to St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.  The fall foliage was bursting through with beautiful reds and yellows and greens and oranges and browns, and I wanted to capture something that showed off the cemetery grounds in autumn.

Cemeery Road. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Cemeery Road. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Monument. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Monument. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.
The Peaceful View. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.
The Peaceful View. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

St. Agnes Cemetery is one of my “centering” locations, a place where I can refocus my life and my thoughts.  It’s a place where, in 2010, I captured my first truly successful “star trail” photograph – I aligned my camera so that the star of Polaris was focused behind the head of one of the tombstone monuments.  A couple of hours later, I captured this.

The Star Trail of St. Agnes Cemetery. Nikon D700 camera, Kiev 24H fisheye lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

God, that seems like so long ago.  I wonder if the Morrone family – whose family member is buried under that granite carving – knows that their efforts inspired this image.

Oh look, there’s another monument over there.  And if I align myself carefully, I can get a beautiful shot with my four-lensed NIMSLO camera.

Let’s give it a shot, shall we?

St. Agnes monument. Nimslo camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.
St. Agnes monument. Nimslo camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Decent shot… I’ll have to boost the levels and make some adjustments in Photoshop…

Let’s get to work.  Scan the film.  Adjust the highlights.  Boost the foliage.  Crop the picture into four separate units.  Align the images onto a focal point.  Nope, didn’t like that focal point.  Re-align everything.  Keep going.  Don’t give up.  Check.  Double-check.  Good enough.  Nope.  Never settle for “just good enough.”  Do it again.

And after all the adjustments and movements and alignments and the like…

Here’s what I got from that little strip of film.

Yeah, I know, the animation is a bit fast, but I’ll fix that later.

And it wasn’t until I finished editing this picture …

That I noticed the name on the monument.

FLORA – 1912-1926.

Barely a teenager.  Sad.

Yet with all that… How in the world was I to know that this monument of “Flora” would frame nicely with the changing flora of the autumn leaves?

Trust me, I couldn’t have scripted it as well as this.

But wow… what if I was able to create a lenticular print out of THIS image?

Hmm…

Maybe … just maybe …

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