Behind the scenes: How I made the 'Breezes' series

I've been asked a lot of questions about the process behind this series, so here's how I made them!

The images have been created by blending together up to four different photographs. The base layer for each of them is photo of flowers frozen in ice; these were frozen at home in my kitchen freezer, using small round plastic containers. The flowers are mostly very small ones as I wanted them to be much enlarged in the final prints - you can see the scale in the photo below.

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Once they were solid I took them out of the freezer to photograph, and this had its own challenges. I had to work quickly as they started melting straight away, but the trickiest thing was getting the light right. If they're lit from behind, they turn into silhouettes, but if they're lit from the front the look really flat. You need to get just the right angle from the side so that the ice sparkles and you can see all the tiny bubbles and lines.

The meadow flowers were mostly photographed in situ in my garden (see photo below), with one or two from public spaces. These were cropped to get the scale and composition that I wanted, and then layered in Photoshop with the images of the frozen flowers. Finally the composite shapes were dropped onto a black background so they appear to float in space, and the colours edited to bring out the different mood of each image.

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Freezing them was quite tricky as everything moves slowly around the container for a while until the water begins to solidify, so it's hard to make a predetermined composition. And as the water freezes, it creates patterns and bubbles, formed by the gasses released by the flowers, which are still respiring at the start of the process. I liked the unpredictability of all this, and you can see the results in the random patterns in the final works.

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