Voodoo Lily

Last night, I had the opportunity to photograph a Voodoo Lily.  It’s a flowering plant from the genus Amorphophallus.

The term Amorphophallus originates from the Greek amorphos, meaning deformed and phallos, meaning male sex organ (I’m not making this up!).

It has a most unusual jungle-like appearance with intense dark colors, wonderful textures and beautiful flowing shapes (a perfect photographic subject!).

The most striking feature however, is that the Voodoo Lily emits a pungent and intense odor of rotting flesh.

Apparently, flies and other insects are attracted to this stench of decay thinking that they are in for a meal.  Instead, they inadvertently provide pollination services for the flowers.

Within minutes of bringing the plant into my studio, the smell of death permeated throughout.

I spent about an hour photographing the Lily, mostly using the technique of light painting  (using a small flashlight to illuminate the plant during 30 second exposures) . Before long, I just couldn’t take it anymore!  I hastily wrapped up the session and cleared the plant out of my studio.

It was a very unpleasant experience during the process, but I think the results were worth my sacrifice!

This entry was posted in Floral Still Life, Light painting, Photography and tagged , , , , , , .

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