When time and funding permit, each flower (each plant species) will have its own page, and its own PDF, and eventually its own PPT so that professors and students have plenty of material on Guatemala (and Honduras, etc) to study.

Heliconia adflexa, Coban, Guatemala, Hotel Monja Blanca, FLAAR, by Nicholas Hellmuth

This space is for flowers
we have recently found and photographed.


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How to Contact FLAAR

Consulting in Maya ethnobotany, biology, and environmental protection is available to universities, research institutes, pertinent individuals and to corporations. 

FLAAR has been active in research since 1969. Dr Hellmuth has been in Guatemala since age 17, so we have over 50 years experience in Central America.

You can see his resume on our main FLAAR web site.

We can provide expert consulting, we can network you to the pertinent biologists, agronomists, or scientists of Guatemala and nearby countries.

Contact for botanical, zoological, or archaeological questions

Since we have over one million readers on our digital imaging technology web sites, and over half a million on our various Maya culture web sites, please understand that even with a staff of 18 people we are not able to answer every incoming e-mail. But we do read every single one.

Our resources are available for projects that have realistic funding, for consulting, for lectures or exhibits of our high-resolution photographs of flora, fauna, archaeology at a museum, university, institute, organization, or corporation.

Contact e-mail is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

If you have found an error or mistake in a web page, especially a bad link (that does not function) or a web design error, please contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We appreciate you taking the time to help us improve our web sites.

If you have a suggestion for improvement in graphic design, or reader friendliness, please contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We very much value your pointing out errors of graphic design, usability, reader-friendliness. We especially appreciate your telling us about reader-unfriendliness, so we can improve the site. It helps when you point out what is wrong, to suggest specifically how it should be improved, and why.

If you like a particular aspect of the web site, or educational material, naturally we like to hear this too. Contact is via the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it who is in-house working directly for FLAAR. We do not use outside web design or outside web maintenance services.

If you wish help in deciding what medium format camera or large format camera to purchase, we will have a new Survey/Inquiry Form later this month so that we can assist you. Naturally we also know the pros and cons of Nikon, Canon, and the other 35mm brands, but it is in medium format and large format digital cameras where an independent opinion really helps (because the cameras are costly so you don’t want to make a mistake).

If you wish help deciding what inkjet printer to buy, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , tell her what series you purchased and roughly when, and ask for how to contact Nicholas directly. in case you receive no answer, write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We prefer all initial contact to be by e-mail, but if you are unsure whether your e-mail has gone through, use our VoIP / Vonage telephone #, 419 823-9218.

Once you have bought the series, there is no extra charge for FLAAR to answer your questions personally. If you need more than 30 minute you can request and cover the cost of consulting by retainer, or consulting in person

We cover 13x19, 24” and up (we cover primarily large format). We do not cover letter-size or office-use letter size printers. But we do cover office-use large format, indeed we have been consultants for Fortune 500 companies who needed to buy hundreds of printers at one time. But we are equally accessible to family-owned and one-person companies, as well as aficionados and hobbyists who just need to buy a single printer. Probably a third of the people who ask for help will use their printer at home or as a retirement business or second-business. We respond to requests by providing you with either free publications (when you fill out the Wide Format Inkjet Printer Survey/Inquiry Form).

When you contact us by filling the Info Request and Survey Form, in return, we'll send up to 6 reports (if there are enough themes in our free reports that are pertinent to your request). We do our best to reply within 48 hours unless it is vacation period (Easter Week or Christmas). About 1% of e-mails get lost in cyberspace.

Or you may opt to skip the free-reports via Survey Form and go straight to the selection of over 200 premium FLAAR Reports which you can access via credit card. Or, you may bring Dr Hellmuth as a consultant to your location or have you or your team come to FLAAR at a printer or photography expo BGSU in Ohio, or FLAAR’s Latin American office in beautiful Guatemala.

If at any time you purchase any five or more series of FLAAR Reports, then you can receive 30 minutes discussion directly with Nicholas Hellmuth by telephone or direct e-mail for him to personally answer your remaining questions. You can buy all five series at once (any themes, can be unrelated), or buy them series by series. As soon as your purchase totals 5 complete series (or a total sum of over $500), then contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it help, however, then you want a full consulting session (see next option). In case you receive no answer, write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We prefer all initial contact to be by e-mail, but if you are unsure whether your e-mail has gone through, use our VoIP / Vonage telephone #, 419 823-9218 and ask for Deyni or Flor.

Consulting: If you as an individual, or you as a company, wish to hire Dr Hellmuth or other of the FLAAR or university staff as a consultant in color management, digital photography, inkjet printing (including RIP software, inks, media), applications, business opportunities, giclee, UV-curable inkjet technology, marketing assistance, or on any reasonable matters related to digital imaging and/or digital printing, contact us by our VoIP / Vonage telephone #, 419
823-9218 and ask for Deyni or Flor. Yes, we work under NDA and naturally you can expect that a university professor will treat your initial request with discretion, but we need to know enough, up front and in advance, so we can meaningfully respond.

If you wish consulting it is best if you send a clear list of your questions (which we would answer once you decide if you wish consulting). But obviously we can only answer whether we can provide services once we know your range of needs.

Any and all initial meetings are considered a consulting session

If you wish to visit FLAAR, this is usually treated as a consultation; please see above. We accept visits at our offices in Guatemala. We are accessible from our office in Latin America via Delta, NW, Continental, American, and other major airlines.

Training: if you wish to come to FLAAR to be trained in person in digital photography, color management, scanning, inkjet printing, giclee, décor, fine art photography, ethnobotany or ethnozoology, we offer this service, in Guatemala, or we can travel to your location anywhere in the world. We can train and provide consulting services simultaneously.

If you wish to bring Dr Hellmuth to your city to present a public or private lecture in a local university, college, museum, organization, alumni association, seminar, or other event such as a trade show or exhibit, or at your company, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in case you receive no answer, write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We prefer all initial contact to be by e-mail, but if you are unsure whether your e-mail has gone through, use our VoIP / Vonage telephone number 1 419 823-9218 and ask for Deyni, or Flor.

Nicholas lectures in three languages at venues around the world. He has lectured in Japan, Switzerland, Dubai, India, throughout Europe, Latin America, and across the USA and Canada. He lectures on giclee, décor, fine art photography, digital photography in general, panoramic photography, photography of art and architecture, lighting for digital photography, UV-curable inkjet printers, giclee, fine art photography (and printing), as well as architectural history, archaeology, ethno-botany of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations (Maya, Olmec, Teotihuacan especially).





Expert witness: this is treated as a consultation. Yes, we are constantly asked to be an expert witness in court cases. We prefer the pre-trial research and we need complete details before we can even respond. Yes, naturally we work under NDA, but we don’t have time to go back and forth back and forth. Tell us up front what you need an expert witness for so that we can meaningfully respond.

If you have found a mistake or error in our discussion of giclee printing or if you seriously disagree with an observation, please contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . But explain in detail your alternative point of view.

If you disagree with our evaluation about a product, please provide realistic discussion of the basis of your disagreement. We realize that your experiences may be different, even better, than ours. However, merely because a favorite product, that is touted and praised on 99% of the other websites does poorly in a FLAAR review, is generally the fault of the product design, and should have been noticed in the other glowing, gushing PR releases that are disguised as reviews. We use both Mac and PC; we use both Epson and HP and Canon. But this does not make us blind to the wretched performance (compared to their alluring claims in million-dollar ad campaigns) and gas-guzzling ink appetite of one infamous brand of printer. We do notice, however, that each new model is better than the previous one. We just don’t understand how buyers of the early models had to put up with being guinea pigs and why the newer models still waste expensive ink and waste media at every opportunity. We would prefer your comments on product evaluation disagreement by postal mail but be sure to provide your return e-mail address:12317 Inlet Ridge Drive, Maryland Heights, MO 63043.

Why the FLAAR reviews cover primarily high-end expensive solutions?
There are hundreds of commercial websites that will assist you to buy every imaginable entry-level camera and desktop printer. So there is no need for us to jump into this swamp. Our background is thirty years of museum photography of ancient art, artifacts, and historical buildings. To do this properly requires good equipment. Most archaeologists, art historians, botanists, zoologists, and geologists have not had an opportunity to experience professional camera equipment or the really good digital printing options. So we prefer to concentrate on introducing the level of equipment and software that provides an impressive professional level of results. We too use point-and-shoot cameras and 6-megapixel digital SLR (such as the Nikon D100). You can do excellent photography with them, and achieve beautiful prints with a $329 desktop printer. But our area of expertise is large format (printers and cameras) and especially medium format digital camera backs. However we do offer a generalized entry-level digital photograph course, that treats 4, 6, 8 megapixel point and shoot cameras and 35mm SLR from 6, 12, to 16.7 megapixels (Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, etc).

If you just wish to express your thoughts, opinions, or general concerns, we read every letter. We would prefer these by traditional mail: 12317 Inlet Ridge Drive, Maryland Heights, MO 63043.

If you wish to volunteer to work with Dr. Hellmuth in Guatemala, Include a complete resume with references and a website where we can see your work. Volunteers cover their own expenses through in exceptional cases for students we can negotiate this. German or French speaking volunteers are especially welcome because we need to maintain practice in these languages. FLAAR is tri-lingual (Deutsch, Espanol, and English) and several of us are studying Mandarin, so it helps if you speak one of these languages.

Although we can provide training, you have a better chance to be considered as a volunteer if you can offer something:

  • remarkable ability in Adobe Photoshop,
  • Ability with 3D rendering and animations
  • Patience to crank out bibliographies
  • Really good writing abilities on tropical plants
  • Ability to do line drawings of plants and flowers
  • Ability to do color paintings of plants and flowers

We already have many photographers on the team. You would need to be exceptional, or have lenses that we lack (600mm or 800mm prime Canon or Nikon lenses, for example).

On rare occasions we do accept volunteers. The main issue is that our facilities have only one guest room, so we can’t take more than one person at a time.

If you stay in a hotel you would need to take a taxi back-and-forth, as local city buses are definitely not recommended. You would need to stay in Zone 10, as Zone 1 is too far away and not always safe to walk around at night. In some cases perhaps you could rent a room in the homes or apartments of one of the FLAAR staff.

We read every incoming fax, snail mail, and e-mail. Please realize that with only 12-14 hours in Nicholas’s workday, and the fact that he is often away in foreign countries, lecturing somewhere, or out testing cameras, it is not realistic for him to answer every incoming message. But they are all read and your message will make its point. We then reply to as many as possible. Obviously the more polite, helpful and detailed the message is, the more likely it will be answered. If relative to a website, we need the specific website and actual web page (with over 1000 pages we otherwise don’t know which page needs to be improved).

We are not able to answer faxes, e-mails, or telephone calls for general miscellaneous matters, such as how to update software, where to get something repaired. We are not able to answer faxes, e-mails, or telephone calls that circumvent the preferred avenue of address for the matter under consideration. We are not able to give out information on the telephone unless you have a prior professional consulting relationship or are a frequent purchaser or otherwise already have a relationship with FLAAR. The best way to contact us is by fax or e-mail;

Summary, for receving information on Maya archaeology, ethnozoology, ethnobotany
We are not in the business of identifying, pricing, or authenticating artifacts. But if you wish to donate your artifact to have it repatriated to Guatemala, we can provide the contact of a foundation that repatriates artifacts back to where they came from.
If you have a project, thesis, dissertation, or book project on Maya subjects, we will be glad to interact, keeping in mind that our schedule is pretty busy. Logically it helps if you have at least modest funding for a joint project or at least a consulting session.
Where we can provide the best help is to do joint projects with common funding, where your project can benefit from our 50 years knowledge of Mesoamerica.

Summary, for receiving inkjet printer information

  • Option a: use the Survey/Inquiry form to receive free reports that will answer many of your questions
  • Option b: use the on-line store to order your reports directly.
  • Option c: if you buy any 5 series you can get direct phone and direct e-mail to receive personal answers to your follow-up questions after you have read the reports.
  • Option d: you are welcome to visit us in person (fee-based consultation) or bring Dr Hellmuth to your location anywhere in the world, as a consultant and/or speaker.

Summary, for receiving digital camera information

  • Option a: download any and all free reports.
  • Option b: use the on-line store to order your reports directly.
  • Option c: you are welcome to visit us in person or bring Dr Hellmuth to your location anywhere in the world, as a consultant and/or speaker.
  • Option d: if specifically for medium format and/or large format digital camera evaluations, you can use the new medium/large format digital camera inquiry form that is in preparation.
  • Option e: if you want to go shooting personally with Nicholas Hellmuth, either bringing your own cameras, or borrowing his, anywhere in the world, this can be arranged.

If you need help with software, repairs, older equipment, if you are a member of one of the courses, workshops, or seminar programs it is the purpose of these programs to answer your questions. Otherwise, you should be asking these questions of the people who sold you the equipment or software. Please be realistic that our mission is to test, evaluate, and write up reviews of digital imaging hardware and software. This takes all day, every day, even most weekends. If we had tons of money from kickbacks or commissions, then we could afford to have an entire staff to answer each individual. But we prefer not to be dependent on commissions, so thus do not have funding to have a staff large enough to handle the tons of incoming e-mails.

You can write in English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, or Portuguese. We tend to reply in English or Spanish. We are fluent in German; just don’t write it well.

How to meet or speak with Nicholas Hellmuth will be covered on a separate page, though obviously the easiest way is to sign up for a FLAAR course, bring Dr Hellmuth to your city for a lecture, or hire Prof Hellmuth as a consultant.

If you need a personal answer to a question about digital imaging?
When you buy a requisite number of complete Series of FLAAR Reports, you are entitled to 30 minutes telephone conversation or e-mail interaction directly with Dr Hellmuth or the lab personnel. In this 30 minutes you can ask any question you wish. We can’t guarantee we know all the answers, but we can often point you in the right direction, and generally we can help you move forward. If you need more than 30 minutes assistance, then you really need a full consulting session. The requisite number of Series is included in the Consulting Page link on each site and/or in some of the Previews. The most recent page is what is valid.

For consulting for wide-format printers, inks, media, check out our new web site, www.FLAAR-Reports.org.

Gustavo Gallegos Nicholas Hellmuth photographing morro
Gustavo Gallegos and Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth photographing morro


Most recently updated Feb. 27, 2012.
First posted July 7, 2011.

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Fruits (typical misnomer mishmash of Spanish language)

Fruits (vines or cacti)

Flavoring, herbs, and spices

Flowers, sacred

Plants which are sacred

Plants or trees that are used to produce incense

We Thank Gitzo, 90% of the photographs of plants, flowers and trees in Guatemala are photographed using a Gitzo tripod, available from Manfrotto Distribution.
We thank Hoodman, All images on this site are taken with RAW CF memory cards courtesy of Hoodman.
Pachira aquatica, zapoton, zapote bobo, crucial sacred flower for Maya archaeologists and iconographers
Read article on Achiote, Bixa orellana, annatto, natural plant dye for coloring (and flavoring) food (especially cacao drink) in Guatemala and Mexico.
Read article on Cuajilote or Caiba: Parmentiera aculeata, a forgotten fruit.
Read article on Split leaf philodendron, Monstera deliciosa.


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