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Flower Trade

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Irresistible Orchids
Photograph by Sisse Brimberg

This intimate glimpse into the heart of an orchid reflects both nature and craftsmanship. “There’s a real learning curve” in using this technique, says Brimberg. “I took maybe a thousand frames. When I started, there were so many bad shots. I was too far away. And the light wasn’t right. Soft light doesn’t work—you need bright sunlight. I let the camera’s meter handle the exposure automatically.”

Camera: Minolta LLE
Film Type: Color negative film
Lens: 35mm
Speed and F-Stop: Very long exposure (8-10 seconds) through pinhole
Weather Conditions: Indoors
Time of Day: Morning
Lighting Techniques: Bright sunshine coming in through window

Special Equipment or Comments:
Color negative film is more forgiving, so I shot with it using a tripod to accommodate the length of exposure. The film was processed into prints, from which transparencies were made. The transparencies were then processed through a Polaroid machine. Once the Polaroid was removed, it was opened after about five seconds. The chemical side of the Polaroid was then pressed on a wet piece of handmade paper. Pressure was applied by rolling across the Polaroid. After 15 seconds, the Polaroid was lifted and dipped in a warm bath of vinegar and water to stabilize the image.

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