Growing up in a small town in Minnesota, I became accustomed to being surrounded by nature. So, when I moved to Chicago in late August of this year, I found myself missing it deeply, which is what lead me to Garfield Park Conservatory to shoot my Photo I Final. When one thinks of a conservatory, they tend to associate it with the color green. However, upon walking in, I was struck by a very red plant depicted in the first picture, which I learned was called the Flaming Sword Plant. This moved me to capture shocks of red and other warm colors in plants and animals among the abundant green as a contrast, and I ended up naming the project after it. I also played with mirroring in the composition after seeing the resemblance between the way the Flaming Sword Plants and the Black Queen Anthuriums (in the last picture) grew, with two stems sprouting up and away from each other. Paying more homage to my Minnesotan roots, I photographed western painted turtles, which I grew up constantly finding in my backyard, and carried the mirroring idea over to the way I framed them. The Koi were particularly challenging to shoot, as they were rather camera-shy and I had to make sure I wasn't obstructing the view of other patrons as I was working. It took about half an hour with my lens trained on one area of the pool to get the third picture, but it paid off, because it ended up being the poster shot, as well as one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken.