Tired of giving his wife flowers, a photographer created something new

After years of bringing his wife bouquets, Abelardo Morell switched to a more enduring gift: wildly imaginative variations on the classic floral still life.

Searching for original ways to photograph flowers, Abelardo Morell projected a landscape onto an old door.

Instead of giving his wife flowers for her birthday, as he did most years, contemporary photographer Abelardo Morell decided to choose something that would last longer. Say, a photograph of flowers.

The Cuban-born, Boston-based photographer started with a still life of a mixed bouquet. He took a photo, then rearranged the flowers and took another photo. He repeated that 20 times, then layered the images together.

Still lifes of flowers are a classic subject for photographers. But Morell is well-known for another distinctive photographic approach: camera obscura, a technique that captures inverted views projected through a pinhole onto a surface in a darkened room. So he saw this very different pursuit, a project he called Flowers for Lisa, as a chance to stretch his creativity as well as to devise gifts for his wife, Lisa McElaney.

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