Flowers + Liquid Nitrogen = Beautiful Shattered BrillianceS

We can't get enough of this series of images by photographer John Shireman, who combines beatiful flowers, dead-simple composition and a rather creative use of liquid nitrogen to produce some of the most striking floral portraits we've ever seen.

First Shireman photographs an attractive flower against a stark white backdrop. The effect is fetching, but far from original. But then he soaks his subject in liquid nitrogen, sometimes for as long as 30 minutes (which seems excessive to us; given the fact that LN2 is colder than -320 °F, it's hard to imagine it would take that much time for a flower to freeze completely), before smashing it into pieces and photographing it with a high speed camera. It's floral photography as you've never seen it before.

Check out the rest of Shireman's series over on his flickr.