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Virtual Bouquets from The Green Florilegium

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Florilegia are collections of flowers in book format.  The Green Florilegium was created in the 17th century by Hans Simon Holtzbecker, a flower painter from Hamburg.  The book was recently restored and now consists of 178 pages containing 395 plants, with anywhere from one to five plants per page.  I bought a recently published reproduction of the book as a gift for my mother, and while leafing through it, got the idea of creating virtual "bouquets" by digitally compositing multiple pages from the book.

First, I combined all 178 pages into a single (very dense) image (Bouquet 395).  Then I randomly selected nine to twelve pages of the book to combine into more traditional-looking bouquets.  This yielded 17 "random" bouquets, using every page from the book one time only.  Finally, I decided to make a dozen color-coordinated bouquets by combining flowers of similar color.

I made no effort to "arrange" the flowers; the position of each flower in the bouquets was predetermined by its original position on the book page.  I also retained the aspect ratio of the original pages.  A large part of the pleasure for me in creating these images was the element of surprise involved.  I had no idea what the final image would look like until it suddenly appeared on my computer screen after the digital compositing process was complete.