Macro Gladiolus At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Hopeland Gardens Gladiolus


Sometimes you just have to give nature some help, which was the case the morning I composed the pieces in this post.  While surveying the area where I had found one years ago, I discovered two gladiolus plants next to each other that were lying flat on the ground.  They were both dead to the world and did not have the ability to stand on their own.  I have no idea what happened to them though an animal may have knocked them over, or perhaps it was the wind, or maybe their blossoms just got too heavy to hold up.  At any rate, it seemed like a real shame to have that much beauty going to waste.  One stalk was fairly tore up and the flowers were not in good shape at all, and the second had a couple of pretty decent looking blooms as well as others that were being overrun by ants.  I picked up the better of the two so that I could examine the flowers a bit closer.  After I felt that a composition existed, I tried to get it balanced or propped up high enough to where I could comfortably get my lens on it, but that didn’t work – it just fell right back down again.  So I got my plamp out and, after cleaning as many of the ants off from it as I could, I connected one of the clamps so that it would keep the plant from falling over.



Macro Gladiolus at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina

To purchase a print of Reincarnated click here
To view a larger version of Reincarnated click here

After effectively bringing the plant back to life, I searched for an artistically pleasing flower.  For my Reincarnated composition, I placed the center stalk of the stigma on the upper, leftmost one third line, using the rule of thirds.  Then while keeping the stigma at that location in the frame, I maneuvered the camera around to where the anthers had approximately the same amount of space to their respective side.  I focused on the stigma because it felt too prominent against the pink background to ignore.  The extremely shallow depth of field didn’t allow much else to fall into the zone of sharpness, and I wouldn’t argue too much against this being classified as naturally abstract.  However, the uniformity of the filaments, anthers, and stigma stalks (i.e., three, three, and three) helped convince me not to do that.  The high level of detail allows tiny hairs and texture to be seen.



Macro Gladiolus at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina

To purchase a print of Stance click here
To view a larger version of Stance click here

While scouring the best remaining, ant-free blooms, I found one that I liked.  I decided to move the plamp into a position that would continue supporting the weight of the stalk and hold the flower steadier since the wind had started to pick up as the morning ticked away.  I focused at the top of the stigma here as well and that worked out pretty good considering the angle of the anthers.  I like how they slowly fade away.  I was also pleased with how the filaments blended right into the background of my Stance piece because it creates the illusion that the anthers are floating.  Tiny hairs and texture can be seen here too thanks to the high level of detail.



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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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