A while back I read a fun blog entry by Denise Ippolito where she froze flowers to photograph. It sounds weird, but she got some amazing results. Then my friend Kathy Urbach started experimenting with the same technique. I liked their images and decided to try the technique myself. It’s not as easy as it sounds! First you have to pick a flower or composition that will look good frozen. Then you have to get enough water in the plastic container to cover the flower, but not so much that all you see is frozen water. Then comes the really hard part – you have to convince your husband to make some space in the freezer. For your freezing flowers. Rich thought I’d lost my mind. (Again!)
The image above was my first attempt. I took some rose petals and scattered them in the water. After a few hours in the freezer, they were ready. I found that my first challenge was finding a good background for the photograph. If you put the ice block on a table, you can see the table through the ice. Also I didn’t like the light inside the house. So I ended up taking the ice outside and propping it up the side against my house. Then it was a race between my shutter finger and the sun! I didn’t like how the edges looked, so I cropped the image a bit to include just the middle. I also enhanced it with a bit of the Fractalius filter.
For my next attempt, I tried the rose petals again, this time using more so that I’d have less of an icy background. I also intentionally left some of the petals out of the water. Another trip to the freezer and another trip outside to use natural light. I should play with my reflector the next time I do this! I liked the bits of ice that formed on top of the petals that were on the top of the ice. For the first time, I also used the Nik Color Efex Pro Midnight filter. It darkens the image a bit to give it more depth. I liked the golden feel that it gave the petals.
Kathy inspired my next attempt. She took some purple wildflowers and arranged them in a little bouquet to freeze. They turned out really cool, but she wished she’d done a bow or something to finish off the bouquet effect. Well, I had some orange bulbines in the backyard that make really pretty little bouquets. I added some color-coordinated embroidery floss for a bow. I wasn’t thrilled with the result — I needed a bigger plastic container (and more space in the freezer!) But I did like the close-up that I did of two of the little flowers. The frost on the delicate blooms was really pretty. I added a little more Fractalius to bring out the frost details, and then used the Nik Color Efex Pro Detail Enhancer to bring out even more detail. (Usually I don’t use that filter at full strength! This time I turned it up!)
I processed this last image recently, and it fits into this post, but it’s not a frozen flower. It’s an African Iris that I enhanced with some Fractalius. I made the image around Easter, and it reminds me of a little cross.
Now whenever Rich and I see flowers growing, he whispers in my ear, “Freeze me!” As if I needed more encouragement… :)