We’re excited about a new project we’re embarking on with Jerry Jenkins, a research ecologist, botanist, and geographer from White Creek, New York. The concept is simple: Jerry will keep a photographer’s notebook of things he observes each season, and we’ll publish a sampling of what he’s captured. We’re kicking things off in this issue with a look at tree and shrub flowers.
This ongoing feature fits in nicely with Jerry’s work at the Northern Forest Atlas: a project he and Ed McNeil began in 2013. The Atlas makes books and charts, paper and digital, for naturalists and ecologists – you can get a sense of their work by clicking here.
The photographs in this issue are composites of 10 to 50 images, shot in a studio with close-up lenses and LED lighting and assembled with stacking software. Stacking uses the sharpest parts of each individual image to produce a composite image that show every stamen and sepal, every petal and pistil.
“I have looked at tree and shrub flowers for years,” said Jenkins, “both because they are beautiful, and because they help me think about ecology and evolution. The evolutionary roots of our woody plants are about 100 million years back. The story of their evolution is a story of pollination and dispersal; and so a story of flowers and seeds.”