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Botany Photo of the Day
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The Art of Christian Staebler

The Scanner Art of Christian Staebler
The Scanner Art of Christian Staebler

I'm delighted that Christian Staebler of France offered to share some of his scanner art work on BPotD. I only recall seeing something similar as a modern artwork once or twice in my life, so I think Christian's creations are quite unique and special. The first word that popped into my mind when I saw them was organic, quickly followed by medieval (as in medieval art with its skewed or flat perspectives and emphasis on symbols) and collage. Coincidentally, I was idly thinking to myself about how to flatten perspective in a photograph (thinking of “Medieval style” work) only a few days before Christian contacted me, but I can honestly say I would never have imagined solving my little mental challenge with Christian's method.

Christian has a series of these images which you can browse through on his site here. He is preparing to publish the scans in a book with one scan for each week of the year (and if you know of a publisher who might be interested, send him a note via his web site!). I also highly recommend browsing through the rest of Christian's web site (when you visit a section, use the small navigation bar at the bottom of the artwork to prompt the next piece) – plenty of photographs, drawings and illustrations. As he mentions in the introduction to the site, “The main thing here is Nature. All my works (especially my personal ones) are inhabited by Nature's richness and I hope the emotions show through the images…

I think I should also mention that all plants and animals in his scanner work are found in his garden. Christian noted to me that he doesn't kill any animals for scanning purposes (he says the cats are killing enough) and the dead insects are found here and there.

If you are interested as to what is in the photographs, the first displays a shrew on Filipendula vulgaris (top left), Sonchus oleraceus (front in the middle), Vicia sepium (bottom left) and Centaurea scabiosa (top background). The second image contains wasps, bindweed (Convolvulus sp.?) and a conifer cone on a cultivated rose (Rosa sp.).

I, for one, hope that the book does get published someday, as I know I'll purchase one. Thank you, Christian.

10 Comments

Beautiful pictures. Love the website.

Ç'est fantastique!!!

Love the website. Even wanted to order one, but it was sold out.

:-(

If you like Christian's work, you will probably also enjoy the work of Katinka Matson, who has been creating art in a similar way for several years now:

Katinka Matson

I'll add that I am familiar with Katinka Matson's work (and it is also beautiful), but I'll point out one noticeable difference - the subjects in Matson's work are all present on the scanner bed at one time (I think) and therefore all presented at the same scale, so I suppose it can be considered realistic. Christian's work, it seems to me, is surrealistic.

Interesting! My response to the two artists is almost opposite of yours, Daniel; Katinka's work feels extraordinarily surreal in an almost disembodied way, there is something about it that makes me uncomfortable, while Christian's feels warmer and more accessible somehow (despite the deceased vole ...)

(I'm also an art photographer, but I'm one of those dinosaurs who prefers film and large-scale hand C-printing)

Huh. Well, I've no background or training in art, so I'm happy you shared your thoughts - time for me to learn something new, methinks!

The bit of conifer cone is the basal scales from a Pinus pinea cone

Thank you all for the comments. I didn't know Katinka Matson. I like the brighness of her pctures but there still not too far from photography (i think). I discovered someone else doing scans on the Yessy website. Jeannie Delaney is closer to what I'm doing : she is creating something different once she has scanned her flowers. here is a link to her pages :
http://www.yessy.com/jdelaney/Gallery3.html?i=30395&s=lybmfkm5h5jainrboeljpt45
I started to do this pictures to collect the varieties of livings in my garden 5 years ago and slowly started tocreat images of more complexity to create "new worlds". If this is getting through, I'm glad you enjoy them…

hi i like ur art its very beautiful i m hindu but i like christian tradition n religion

I hope this thread is still alive.

Not all 'scanner photographers' are computer pros . . . I, for one, am an amateur (haven't learned PhotoShop yet!). When I read about the process I wanted to share it with others. At the bottom of this page is one of my favorite early "shots"...a Monstera d. flower.
http://www.scanner-magic.com/scanner-photography.html

I also discovered many uses for kids. Scanography is a great hobby, craft and perhaps pefect for many botanical applications.

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