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Flower arrangement

Flower arrangement

Credit
White House Historical Association

Flower arrangement

Between appointments for portrait photographs, the author Maggie Knaus was asked to take a quick shot of cream-colored roses used by the florist to make centerpieces for the White House dinner celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of the mansion. The marble capped wall near the North Portico provided an available and appropriate backdrop.

Knaus worked on her early assignments for the White House Historical Association during the last years that film was the standard for publication photography. She chose 2G format film for portraits and posed subjects. For action shots with no time for setup she used 35 mm slide film. Because the exposure and the framing was not guaranteed, it was often necessary to take many different versions of the same shot. The film and slides were developed and the frames were compared on a light table at the association’s offices. Only a few shots from dozens of rolls of film would be selected for publication and sent on to prepress; the out takes would be archived.

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