Golden Sunflowers

2nd place - Portfolios

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Portfolio details - Golden Sunflowers

Photographer: Elizabeth Kazda
Competition: Competition 17
Location: Home Studio, United States

Golden Sunflowers by Elizabeth Kazda

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are a fascinating subject from a mathematical point of view. The centre of a sunflower is comprised of many florets, which develop into seeds. Each floret grows at an angle of approximately 137.5 degrees from the next floret. This precise angle is known as the Golden Angle in mathematics, which enables optimal seed placement, resulting in a uniform distribution of seeds across the entire flower face.

I visited local farmers’ markets and small flower farms, searching for sunflowers during the summer and autumn seasons. Each photo captured, depicts a different sunflower. I create my botanical mandalas through a specialized photographic technique using the camera's multiple exposure function. To do this, I place the flower on a rotating platform and photograph it at equidistant positions, until I complete a 360 degree rotation, resulting in each mandala being a multiple exposure of 8-14 photos created in-camera.

The original colour images were converted to black and white and then printed on translucent vellum, the reverse side of each print was gilded with 23k gold leaf. These artistic techniques I have used, serve to emphasise the significance of this Golden Angle phenomenon, and highlights the intricate patterns found in nature.


2nd place, Portfolio - Competition 17



RPS Silver Medal