Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Night vision

This week I veer off from my usual format to introduce a type of photography that I'm pretty certain very few people have ever heard of (I hadn't) - Ultraviolet-Induced Visible Fluorescence. The photos that follow are from noted UVIVF photographer Craig Burrows. Simply put, here's how it works. High-intensity UV lights are used to illuminate the flowers, resulting in colors and 'auras' that are both beautiful and surreal. It is first important to point out that this technique requires only UV light to pass and illuminate the flowers. This photography is done in as much darkness as possible, in order to eliminate or minimize natural light.
Craig points out that the carefully staged environment is rather important as so many man-made things contain optical brighteners which are intensely blue fluorescing. One of the things about UVIVF that Craig finds particularly interesting is that when exposed to sunlight, flowers, plants, and leaves are all fluorescing. We simply don't notice it because the fluorescence is overwhelmed by the intensity of the reflected visible light.
For avid photographers there is a more technical explanation at http://www.diyphotography.net/photographer-takes-photos-flowers-plants-using-uv-light-results-beautiful/
 Also, check out Craig Burrows own site at www.cpburrows.com.
Okay, here is what all the fuss is about. These are the smaller sizes; make sure to click on them to view at full size.

Spittlebug on rosemary. Looks more like something from one of the Alien movies, no?

Bulb cluster (these descriptions are Mr. Burrows own succinct descriptions shown underneath his photos). As you will see, blues and pinks predominate in this photography.

Camellia flower. As mentioned above, many of the flowers do emit a fluorescent glow.

Dandelion seedhead. Doesn't this photo remind you of dreamy fireworks?

One of my faves, this is a photo of an Angel's Trumpet flower. One word - wow!

Here's a different kind of photo, looking up at the sky through some bamboo shoots and leaves. The perspective is very enticing.

Another favorite of mine, this Bee Balm flower (Monarda) seems to possess an otherworldly quality. For those of you who saw the movie Avatar, this may remind you of Cameron's use of bioluminescence.

This flower, commonly called Blanket flower, is a Gaillardia. Looks yummy enough to eat, as if it were a multi-colored artichoke!

Here are two photos of a Calla lily, the lower more of a closeup. Some of Mr. Burrows photos (of flowers) almost make them look like deep sea creatures. This one almost looks like it could be part of a squid.

Another favorite, this photo of a Coreopsis offers up an almost metallic quality to the larger flower's petals. Eerie.

Evening Primrose. This one is oddly 'realistic,' though it's still quite beautiful.

Mr. Burrows simply titled this one 'Flat flowers' but in correspondence has said he thinks it's an Alyssum. It does look like that popular ground cover. Love that deep color.

Likewise, Mr. Burrows simply titled this one 'Flower.' I love the composition and the sharpness of the detail almost makes it look like a painting. 

Kangaroo Paw. This photo features incredibly fine 'spotting' on the petals, almost as if the fluorescence was a kind of dew that settled on the petals.

Hard to believe but this is a Hollyhock flower. The fluorescent effects are particularly strong here.

Here's a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). It's normally a bright orange so this is an interesting 'view' of it.

You probably recognize this flowering bulb. Yes, it's a daffodil and it's too bad they don't come in this color in real life, eh? 

Here's a stunner of a photo. Mr. Burrows lists it as a Silk Floss Tree (Chorizia). Incredible colors and the star pattern adds to the allure.

This one is listed as 'Succulent Flower' and Mr. Burrows has added that it is an Ice plant of some sort. Again, it kind of looks like something growing on Pandora (Avatar).

Jade plant (Crassula ovata). Considered the most common of all succulent plants, here it acquires an otherworldly beauty.

Finally this eerie 'Sweet Tiny Flowers' photo is too lovely for words. It seems to have emerged from some dark magical realm, to offer its beauty to our lives. Who knew a Privet could be so gorgeous?

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