Monday, November 14, 2016

Photomontages of our 2016 Tall Bearded Irises

by Dawn Mumford

'Dazzling Gold' D. C. Anderson, 1977, 'Broadway' Keith 
Keppel, 1979,  'Showcase' Schreiner's, 1973

'Orange Titan' J. T. Aitken, 2007, 'All My Dreams' Paul Black, 2009, 'Winning Hand' Joseph Ghio, 2011,'Barbara My Love' William Maryott, 1998, and 'Orangutan Orange' Brad Kasperek 2009 

I was a commercial artist in a past life (before marriage) and have always understood "Collages" to be pasted and glued objects fixed to a background to make a somewhat new abstract design. So strictly speaking what I make is really a "Photomontage" because it is digital pasting of similar objects together to make a new photo. The software I use calls it a collage but that isn't correct. It may be called collage because of the evolution of the English language. But back in my day it would be called a photomontage.

'Purple Pepper' D. C. Nearpass, 1986, 'Syrian Hills' Schreiner's, 2012, and 'Global Crossing' Robert Van Liere, 2011

This year I took pictures every day of the many irises that opened that day.  The pictures above were taken May 13, 2016.  Then I made montages of them.  I find these montages to be good in many ways.
1.  The montage is taken on the day the blooms open so it records bloom date.
2. I try to group the photos for the montage in colors that could later be used to plan iris beds.  
3. I know that I can use these irises in a single bed because I know they open at the same time.   

'Sea Of Joy' Schreiner's, 1985, 'Decadence' Barry Blyth, 2011, 'Gypsy Lord' Keith Keppel, 2005, 'Showcase' Schreiner's 1973, and 'Tumalo Sunset' Schreiner's  2009. 

This montage shows colors opposite each other on the color wheel so that is called a complimentary color scheme.  Using colors that are across each other in the color wheel will give you maximum contrast because orange will make the purple look darker and vica versa.  

'Master Touch' Schreiner's, 1980, 'Sea Power' Keith Keppel, 1998, 'St. Louis Blues' Schreiner's, 1979, 'Crowned Heads' Keith Keppel, 1996, and 'Snowmound' Schreiner's, 1976

This montage was taken May 31, 2016.   Sometimes some of my irises put out more than one open bloom at a time.  I love the effect. The visual appeal is dramatic. The one trouble is that they will all close together as well. This color scheme is called Analogous meaning they are colors close to each other on the color wheel. 

'Gay Parasol' Schreiner's, 1973, 'Polka' Thomas Johnson, 2009, 'Eagle's Flight' Schreiner's, 1985,'Elizabethan Age' Lowell Baumunk 2005

These flowers bloomed on May 14.  I guess you could say thy all are in one color family (red violet) but they are all subtly different or dramatically different. Again, I think a bed with these colors in it would be pretty. If you wanted more contrast you could add a yellow or an orange or pink.     

'Queen In Calico' James Gibson, 1979 'Vizier' Joseph Ghio, 1997, 'Fashion Diva'  Thomas Johnson, 2009, 'Romantic Gentleman' Barry Blyth, 2002, and 'Grand Classic' Richard Tasco, 2007

Arranging these photos together in a montage shows the slight difference in color of all these red wine colored irises.

'Modern Classic' F. Knocke, 1975, 'Highland Lord' Richard Tasco, 2009, 'Pledge Allegiance' Schreiner's, 1983, 'By Dawn's Early Light' Robert Van Liere, 2013, 'Blutique' Virginia Messick, 1998

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of purples and blues in the iris world but that doesn't mean that they look the same.  The picture above shows some of the differences. 

'Sea Power' Keith Keppel, 1998, 'Grecian Sea' Anton Mego by Bruce Filardi, 2008, 'Slovak Prince' Anton Mego, 2002, 'Conjuration' Monty Byers, 1988, 'Skywalker' Schreiner's, 1996, 'Like Wow' Schreiner's, 2012

More blues and purples taken May 26, 2016. An interesting note about 'Conjuration', it is at least 50" tall here in our garden.    

'Salzburg Echo' Schreiner's, 2009, 'Overjoyed' Joseph Gatty by Keith Keppel, 1993, 'Expose' Joseph Ghio, 2003 

I don't have a lot of yellows but I love the ones that I have.  

'Batik' (Border Bearded) Allan Ensminger, 1985, 'Millennium Falcon' Brad Kasperek, 1998, 'Kinkajou Shrew' Brad Kasperek, 1999, 'Ocelot'z Lot' (Border Bearded) Brad Kasperek, 2012, 'Blutique' Virginia Messick, 1998, and 'Tiger Honey' Brad Kasperek, 1993,

I have started collecting "Broken Color" iris like those pictured above.  I find them fascinating.  I now have about 29 of them. 

There are many software programs that you can use to make collages or more correctly photomontages.  The one I use is no longer available but a search on line reveals lots and lots of programs that work. Smilebox and Shutterfly both have one.  

I have found collages or photomontages to be extremely useful as explained previously in this blog. Give them a try. Let me know if you do them and which software you have. How well does it work and how easy is it to use? If you comment on this article it will let others know what other software is out there and tell me and others who read this blog about it.      


  1. What a wonderful collection of irises, Dawn. Great post!

  2. Thanks so much. I hope we get a lot who look at it.

  3. Very beautiful... I always learn from reading your entrees. Thanks for taking the care and time with these "montages"

  4. Wonderful . . . It makes me think of a few months ago walking through the garden and seeing all the splendor & color in person!! Great Post! Thanks Dawn! --Jason

    1. Thank you Jason, it was fun having you and the group come last Spring.

  5. Well done blog Dawn! Sure wish we lived closer to you! Haven't yet looked into the programs you showed us, we've had computer problems and Dave has been so busy. You are a remarkable woman. Surprise meeting with your granddaughter last Sunday in Hesperia, you can be proud!--Claudia Andersen


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