Macro Iris At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC: Part 1

Macro Iris: Part 1

I occasionally see another photographer while I’m working in Hopeland Gardens, but I’ve never before seen artists that were painting.  On this particular morning, a woman was painting at the gazebo that overlooks the pond almost directly across from where I was creating my Iris Spike composition.  And there was a man painting on an easel that was setup in the walkway at the east end of the pond.  I didn’t have time to talk to either of them, I just said, “Excuse me” as I walked past the man since it felt like I was interrupting him.


Macro Iris at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Iris Spike

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I was attracted to this flower by the sharp, pointed structure in the middleground behind the main subject.  I’m not sure what part of an iris it is, and I’ve never seen anything like that before (I guess this was a morning of firsts).  It shares some of the same colors as the foreground flower so it’s possible that it is similar to a bud that when fully opened will reveal another iris.  I placed it prominently just off center because: it is unique; I liked the serrated edge, tapered tip, and softer, pleated, roll on the opposite side; and I liked the overall shape and colors.  However, I purposefully left it on the other side of the flower by keeping the focal point on the falls, standards, and crest.  My artistic vision was to say that it’s an important part of the story, but the flower is still the star of the show.  The extremely shallow depth of field when shooting at two times life-size ensured that the background iris blooms would dissolve into colors.  The high level of detail allows pollen, dew drops, and surface textures to be seen.


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Author: Steven Dillon

Discover behind-the-scenes details, aesthetic decisions, artistic visions, and compositional choices for my pieces in The Artist’s Story posts.

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