Left On The Cutting Room Floor, building my Flower & Garden Show Lecture…

Here’s the perfect chance to show some of my favorite, never before seen pictures that didn’t make the final cut for the book and share several behind the scenes tales from the making of The 50 Mile Bouquet

But how to weave all that into a story that will fascinate, entertain and flow over the imaginations of the audience like water? …or should that be like warm butter?

Start with tens of thousands of images shot in dozens and dozens of locations over a period of five years. Faces, places, relationships, actions, flowers, hands, bouquets, creatures, concepts. Now narrow that immense sea of images down to less than 200 that make sense for the book I co-created this past year with garden author Debra Prinzing, book designer James Forkner and the talented folks at St. Lynn’s Press. How exactly does one build a single slide that addresses all of that?

Here are the iPhone generated photos I shot yesterday as I worked out how to grapple with this ‘funnel it all into your brain’ concept.

First: I’m looking for something that I can use that looks like an immense funnel. Cue the violins as I dig this light fixture out of a dusty box in the basement and try to remember why I haven’t put it up outside my basement door yet. I hold it up while my trusty little iPhone camera counts down the seconds before shooting the self-timer triggered picture. Hooray for Camera+!


OK, it looks enough like a funnel that I think I can use it, but how can I get it to float properly above my head without having to hold it there? Thinking cap time. (PS, I’m wearing the hat in this case partly because I don’t want to have to go take a shower and wash my uber-frumpy hair before I can do this thing…)

20130131_DPP-4Hmmmmm, a light stand, a triangular scrap of wood and a clamp. Yes, I’ll have to retouch out the stand and the back part of the light fixture, but on a dark, textureless background, that should be easy enough. Notice that I’ve now traded my regular eyeglasses for my three dollar “BugEye” glasses to add an overall touch of elegance and class to the image. And notice too that I’ve got the camera tilted at an angle so I can add type to the lighter side of the image while accommodating the crookedness of the ‘funnel’ since it’s hanging all cattywompus from the light stand/clamp. Tricksy little hobbit.


By jove, I think we’ve got it. And I didn’t even have to take a shower.


Oh noes… Can it really have been that easy? A mere half-hour from initial brainstorm to final shot. Still gotta download it into the computer and retouch it in Photoshop. And I need to come up with some kind of special effect for the myriad of photos that will be pouring down from the heavens into the funnel. Doh, and I still need to figure out what the slide should actually say, pick a font and then add the type. But hey…

Total build time for this one ‘concept’ slide: About 3.5 hours.

Only 79 or 80 more to go…     Stay tuned.

Want to see how it all comes together? Come to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show on Friday, February 22. I’ll be presenting this seminar, Left on the Cutting Room Floor at 2:45 pm in the Hood Room and then signing copies of The 50 Mile Bouquet immediately following. Lectures at the NWFGS are free.

Today is building slides day, in preparation for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
Today is another building slides day, in preparation for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.


4 thoughts on “Left On The Cutting Room Floor, building my Flower & Garden Show Lecture…”

  1. What fun! And what a coincidence! We’re kicking off a #britishflowers movement here in the UK and after my blogpost about the inaugural meeting, a commenter recommended ‘The 50 Mile Bouquet’. It was great to be able to reply – I’ve met the authors :)

    1. My Dear VP, I am continually delighted by the ways you show up in my world and find ways to make me smile. Thank you. You have met the authors, indeed, and endeared yourself to them.

      If there is anything I can do to lend help to your efforts in the #britishflowers movement, please do let me know. I’m excited for you.

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