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ID_Composite 2017

After working behind the scenes on this project since last year, I have decided to make some changes for the better. I am going to make this more flexible and even easier to  work with. Same as before, You can leave your name and the iris you are going to photograph for our composite pictures. However we are not going to require you to take  photos that would fit our 9 picture 3×3 montage.This produced a few undesirable results.

  • A stalk showing branching does not fit easily in a square, but requires a long rectangle box
  • Photos of a base clump does not help anyone much except to show there is no PBF. Is it worth wasting a box to show a green base or clump? I think not!
  • Even a bud if you are trying for the detail does not fit well in a square box.I have struggled to get a bud looking nice in a 3×3…not always possible.

So I have decided to offer three different options going forward, although most of the first set from 2016 are the Standard type. Pick the ones that works best for your subject. Here are some examples. Remember that these composite shots will be much larger when they are deployed to the website. Also, the photos in the templates below are just samples, they are not of one single cultivar.

Standard  3×3 (9 photos)


Simple  (4 photos)

Sample Simple

Hybrid (7 photos)


Remember, try to  take  photos preferablyat the same time of day, from the same plant if possible and send me the results. I do not want photos of iris after a drenching either. The flower needs to be dry and not wind swept. If its windy the day you want to photograph, pick a different day. I will put the composite pictures together.You just take the photos during your bloom season and send to me. I will NOT have time to work on these until after bloom and planting season are over. Try at least 300 dpi; you do not have to cut the pictures down or trim them, I will do that.
The shots I absolutely need are
1. Frontal view of the flower (mugshot style)
2. Side view of the same (mugshot style)
4. Beard – Nice to get a side view of the beard, showing layers, different ‘tipped’ effect, etc
5. Something to show the height of the plant(see below yardstick) or the size of the flower. Put a common coin right next to the flower
Non required shots would be
1. Bud with spathe preferably with no flower on the stalk- nice to have; a MUST if your bud has pbf or scarious (papery) covering.
2. Branching – really great to see how the buds are dispersed on a stalk.
3. Clumps
4. Top down shot of bloom
5. A shot straight in thru the styles showing the possibly different colors on the styles and heart.
6. Anything that points out something distinguishing about the iris: horns, pinking on standards, diamond dusting, ruffles, texture veins, rimming , haft marks,etc.
Note some of the features I was able to capture in the random photos I put in the sample collages:
Remember the key to this exercise is that we want to present a collage of the same flower. Shot from different angles, pointing out the unique characteristics. For a plicata for instance, focus in on the plic markings, many are different.
If you take shots during different years, the results may be different, so I would discourage that unless you had no other choice.

We also should have some sort of measuring device so people can see the size of the plant and bloom. Nancy and Cathy have created this measuring stick: It can be made from a yard stick, a 10″ nail and some bright masking tape. If you have a different device to measure the height and the bloom that is fine too. Just make sure the device is right next to the iris. So the perspective is not distorted. A common coin next to a bloom also gives a good perspective of bloom size. Maybe stick on or tape one on a stick.

IMPORTANT!! We really need some of the more common varieties to be worked up into collages, as this is what most folks will be finding in their backyards and want to identify. So don’t overlook the Indian Chiefs, and the Lent Williamsons etc.


As people start to take pictures and post that they took them, I will have to make up a spreadsheet or something so you don’t have to scroll thru this post, but in the meantime, you can instantly post what iris you are doing, without waiting for an email or something like that from me.
Do NOT take pictures of an iris if someone else has picked that iris already.
Remember: Only take pictures of iris which you are SURE are correct, as these composite ID pictures will be used by others to compare their iris to.

Phase II. It would also be helpful if each collage had some useful text. YOUR text. If you know this iris well, please describe it, particularly things like: Scent, height, substance, rarity, tenderness, things it may be confused with; anything you think would be useful for identification purposes. Right now, I am putting up these collages without the text because I do not have any. If you can include, that would be great. It will be our next step forward in providing the Composite tool. Just send it along and i will attach it to the existing collage. See the example below.

Phase III  Yes, I have conceptualized a Phase III! This is going to be really cool. Instead of a collage, we will have short videos (couple of minutes). This is a two man job. You would stand next to the iris and point out its characteristics, pulling back the standards, pointing out the hafts, showing various aspects, perhaps holding up a coin next to the bloom, exposing the bud branching, etc! Your partner would be rolling the camera.  If you really like videos you can give it a shot at any time but i am thinking more like 2018. to get really into it.
Please take a look at the PHASE II ID_Composite which will be a giant step forward for our new tool.

Here is a sample of what the composite with comments may look like. Comments may be on the side or bottom, I haven’t decided what looks better, but the composite should show this large when a link is opened surrounded by a border. My apologies to Anne for using Bruno as an example here, I am sure whatever I wrote as a description is not what she would have written, and its probably got wrong facts in it. Only an example folks!

Bruno AM-comp-description

In closing, at first this exercise may seem tedious, but will be invaluable for folks trying to identify Iris. We hope over the years to get a good number of these collages together for folks to help them identify their iris and learn what to look for. If anyone is interested in putting their own collages together in these templates, just let me know. I use a very simple free tool I got from the internet, that you do not even have to install on your workstation. If you do want to put the collages together yourself, I ask that you use the tool iPiccy instead of a different one so everything looks uniform.
Thanks for your ongoing support.,


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