Macro Abstract Dew Covered Rose Bud At The Rye Patch In Aiken, SC

Wet Paint

 

Macro abstract dew covered rose bud at the Rye Patch in Aiken, South Carolina
Wet Paint

To purchase a print of Wet Paint click here
To view a larger version of Wet Paint click here

I was initially attracted to the rose bud in my Wet Paint piece by the colors, which will not be a surprise to anyone who has been reading this blog for a while.  Those gorgeous oranges and reds were appealing from the entrance door all the way across the Rose Garden at the Rye Patch.  As I got closer to the subject, my artistic vision was to add to my Naturally Abstract gallery by focusing on a specific section of the bud.  One of the things that fascinates me about macro photography is how just being physically close to something while simultaneously using magnification can break it down into simple colors and lines.  In this case, to the point of not even being able to tell that it’s a flower.  I love that, and to achieve it, I composed this at two times life-size.  There was a bit of wind the morning I created this and, while I had a Plamp holding the bud, I lowered the F-stop to gain back a little shutter speed.  Doing that further reduced the already razor thin depth of field, but that also amplified the aesthetic effect I wanted.  The colors reminded me of paint, as if someone had pulled a brush across the frame, and the tiny dew drops that completely cover the surface provide a wet look.

 

 

To see related pieces click here

Macro Abstract Azalea Petal Edge Divides Colors At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Curtain

 

Macro abstract azalea petal edge divides colors at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Curtain

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

With all of the azalea flowers on the north east side of the Aiken County Historical Museum, I was certain that I could find a worthy subject among them.  I used the edge of an azalea petal to create the naturally abstract composition in my Curtain piece.  My artistic vision was to split the image diagonally where one part featured the petal’s edge and the flower it belonged to while the other section is an entirely different azalea blossom.  That took quite a bit of exploring blooms and trying different angles until I found a flower that had the colors I wanted behind it with an edge that wasn’t burned, discolored, or chewed up.  Additionally, the edge had to be far enough away from the details in the center that they would dissolve into colors even at a high F-stop, which was required to keep most of edge sharply in focus.  Of course, composing at two times life-size helped because the depth of field is quite shallow.  Even with that, surface texture along the petal edge can be seen.

 

 

To see related pieces click here

Macro Abstract Magnolia Petals Form Flame Shape In Aiken, SC

Magnolia Flame

 

Macro abstract magnolia petals form flame shape in Aiken, South Carolina
Magnolia Flame

To purchase a print of Magnolia Flame click here
To view a larger version of Magnolia Flame click here

I was pulled over to the magnolia tree in a neighbor’s yard where I found the blossom in my Magnolia Flame piece by all of the flowers on the ground.  From a distance, it looked like there was a layer of pink surrounding the entire base of the tree.  I thought I might be able to create a naturally abstract composition from the flowers that had fallen off, but as I got closer it became clear that the remnants didn’t completely cover the grass and they were in fairly poor shape.  Not wanting to come home empty handed, I searched the branches for a new, better subject.  This particular bloom was fresh with excellent colors that drew me right in.  The shape that the petals formed immediately made me think of a flame (as if the fire from a candle was burning in a gorgeous pink tone).  Even though it was shot wide open with a very shallow depth of field, details including the surface texture and pollen can be seen.

 

To see related pieces click here

Macro Abstract Wet Flower At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Spiny

 

Macro abstract wet flower at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Spiny

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

One of the things I like about the south is that flowers are still blooming in early fall.  Of course, it doesn’t feel much like fall during that time when the high temperatures remain in the upper 80’s.  As usual, the colors of the subject in my Spiny piece are what attracted me to it.  I found this flower in the front garden near the south wall of the Aiken County Historical Museum (i.e., next to where Newberry and New Lane streets meet) and it appeared to be fairly fresh.  It was also quite wet with morning dew.  All that water helps calm down the sharp spikes found across most of the flower’s surface.  For aesthetic reasons, I placed the center of the flower in the frame slightly to the left of center horizontally and nearly centered vertically.  The high level of detail allows individual dew drops as well as tiny hairs and spines to be seen.

 

 

To see related pieces click here

Macro Abstract Algae On Reflecting Pool Surface At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC: Part 2

Abstract Algae: Part 2

 

Part 2 is a continuation of the Abstract Algae blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 1, click here.

 

 

Macro abstract algae on reflecting pool surface at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Global

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

My Global piece is all about the big bubble, and it is so much taller and larger than the previous bubbles that the extremely shallow depth of field isn’t deep enough to keep the bottom of it within the zone of sharpness.  That being said, one of my artistic goals was to ensure that the smaller bubble on the left-hand side stayed within the frame.  Fortunately, doing that placed the subject so that the rightmost one third line, using the rule of thirds, pretty much bisects it.  I also positioned it very close to being centered vertically.  The specific spot in the pool where this was composed was out in the more open area, and, as such, it benefitted from the blues in the sky reflecting off the surface.

 

 

Macro abstract algae on reflecting pool surface at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Bubbles On Bubbles

To purchase a print of Bubbles On Bubbles click here
To view a larger version of Bubbles On Bubbles click here

To increase the apparent depth of field for my Bubbles On Bubbles piece, it was focus stacked.  That allows thousands of tiny bubbles on the surface to be seen while keeping the larger bubbles within the zone of sharpness.  While not as bright as the tones in Global, this also had the advantage of picking up more of the blues from the reflection of the sky.  The shadows and particles that surround the bubbles remind me of how gravity pulls in nearby objects as planets form.  In fact, throughout the entire time during the composition of these works other bubbles on the surface of the pool (some of which I had planned to use as subjects) were growing, merging, and even popping as they floated around.

 

 

To see related pieces click here, for bonus images, see below.

 

 

Macro abstract algae on reflecting pool surface at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Viscous

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

 

 

Macro abstract algae on reflecting pool surface at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Strange Brew

To purchase a print of Strange Brew click here
To view a larger version of Strange Brew click here

 

 

Macro Abstract Algae On Reflecting Pool Surface At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC: Part 1

Abstract Algae: Part 1

 

I’ve written about the large reflecting pool in Hopeland Gardens in previous posts, and my regular readers may have surmised that there are others on the grounds.  In fact, there are four different pools.  Two of them are near the main pool and can be found on either side of it, while the other one is lower and south of the main pool.  The lower pool is long and not as wide, and it doesn’t have a fountain feature.  On the morning I composed the pieces in this series of posts, the lower pool was nearly completely covered with green algae.  Upon a closer examination of the surface, I discovered lots of bubbles and interesting naturally abstract scenes.

 

 

Macro abstract algae on reflecting pool surface at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Frothy

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

I was attracted by the bubbles and the random strands of algae in my Frothy piece.  Most of the surface has a chaotic – all over the place – feel which tends to cause areas with structure (i.e., the more defined, circular nature of the bubbles) to be highlighted.  I found it to be an interesting mixture of organization within disorder, and, as I’ve previously mentioned, I like dichotomous abstracts.

 

 

Macro abstract algae on reflecting pool surface at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Greenie

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

There is still a good bit of disarray on the surface of my Greenie piece, but with the focal point being on a larger/taller bubble combined with an extremely shallow depth of field, it quickly lost much of its detail.  One of my artistic goals was to keep the swoop to the left of the bubble within the frame.  I placed the bubble to where the leftmost one third line, using the rule of thirds, cuts through it a little to the right of center.  Though not centered vertically, both the upper and lower one third lines dissect the bubble as well.  I love discovering happy little aspects during post processing, and, in this case, the reflection on the bubble that resembles a smile (giving it a similar appearance to a smiley face) was an unexpected treat.

 

 

To see related pieces click here, for a bonus image, see below.

 

 

Macro abstract algae on reflecting pool surface at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Formation

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

 

 

Macro Abstract Pattern Of Decay On Leaf At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Cessation

 

Macro abstract pattern of decay on leaf at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Cessation

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

The big leaves in the swampy area at Hopeland Gardens make wonderful subjects in the fall when their colors start to change.  I have written about and posted several examples over the years because I love the patterns that can be found as they begin to expire (e.g., Fire Veins, Lava Leaf, and Closing In).  When they are backlit by the golden tones of a morning sun, as the leaf in my Cessation piece is, they are able to elevate my excitement to another level.  As I scan their locale looking for subjects to investigate from the trail at the top of the berm between the swamp and the pond, backlit leaves with these colors act like a beacon that my eyes immediately lock on to.  At that point, there is a limited amount of time available to create a composition.  The window is short lived due to the fact that the sun has to rise above the trees that keep the swamp partially shaded, and by the time it does, there is very little golden light remaining.  I loved the last vestiges of Chlorophyll in the green pockets and tracing around the outline of the yellows and oranges, and I was captivated by the thought that Mother Nature will paint a different pattern on every leaf that reaches this stage of life.  This leaf is very likely the only one that will ever look exactly as it does.  The high level of detail allows texture and tiny leaf veins to be seen.

 

 

To see related pieces click here

Macro Abstract Duckweed In Fountain At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Duckweed

 

Macro abstract Duckweed in fountain at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Duckweed

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

I’ve previously posted about the fountain system in Hopeland Gardens that used to have flowing water in it.  For most of the summer, the larger, upper portion was nearly dry.  We had enough rain and run off to put some water in the basin, and it didn’t take long before the duckweed covered the entire surface.  By putting part of my tripod in the water I was able to compose my Duckweed piece from directly above the aquatic plants.  I was attracted to how random (in size, angle, and position) the fronds were as well as how they formed an unmistakably abstract pattern.  Another random aspect of the composition is that they aren’t all perfect.  In fact, it appears that some of them have deteriorated or perhaps they’ve been eaten by some type of a bug that stripped their surface away and caused veins to be exposed.  While small in size and sandwiched between leaves, I also liked the reflections of trees and clouds on the water.

 

 

To see related pieces click here.

Abstract Reflecting Pool Surface At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Time Warp

 

Abstract reflecting pool surface at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Time Warp

To purchase a print of Time Warp click here
To view a larger version of Time Warp click here

I’ve written about the large reflecting pool in Hopeland Gardens in previous posts.  On this particular morning, the crepe myrtle was in bloom alongside the smaller reflecting pool.  The colorful reflections from leaves on the nearby trees, the sky, and the crape myrtle blossoms on the dancing water caught my attention as I was searching for subjects.  As I normally only carry a single lens with me (unless I’ve made plans to be in an environment where not having additional glass could cost me an opportunity), the macro rig was mounted on my camera.  The long lens, light loss, motion, and time of day meant that some adjustments were needed (e.g., ISO and F-stop) so that enough light could be gathered to create an aesthetically pleasing composition while simultaneously slowing down the movement.  I loved how not completely freezing the waves caused blending and mixing of the colors in my Time Warp piece and endowed it with an increased abstract feel.  To enhance that effect and to get as much color as I could onto the sensor, I purposefully framed the scene on a diagonal.  The randomly scattered bright spots are bubbles on the surface of the water.

 

 

To see related pieces click here.

Macro Abstract Crepe Myrtle At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Crepe Myrtle Abstracts

 

The Aiken County Historical Museum has a “U” shaped driveway with crepe myrtle trees that adorn the inside edges.  I had looked at and considered surface area compositions of the trees over the years, but never found anything that fully satisfied my artistic desires.  Since the trees are immediately behind the parking spots (i.e., just on the other side of the driveway), they are easy to notice as soon as you get out of your car or while putting your gear together.  On the morning that I composed the pieces in this post, the lighting and stage of bark shedding must have been perfect because the gorgeous colors and patterns that were previously underneath the bark instantly got my attention.  I surveyed several trees looking for aesthetically pleasing designs and the best colorations before setting up the tripod.

 

 

Macro abstract pattern and colors on Crepe Myrtle at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
New Skin

To purchase a print of New Skin click here
To view a larger version of New Skin click here

The bright yellows and warm oranges in New Skin initially attracted me to this particular area of the tree.  While framing the abstract pattern Mother Nature had painted and then exposed, I was reminded of a river with eddies and currents swirling around as if the colors themselves were flowing downstream from the top of the frame to the bottom.  The high level of detail allows texture to be seen.

 

 

Macro abstract pattern and colors on Crepe Myrtle at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Mottled

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

The randomly placed, splotchy, dappled areas in my Mottled piece made this abstract irresistible.  That being said, I must confess that the color junkie in me loved the various shades of oranges and reds.  This pattern felt more like a lava flow mixed with smoke or smoldering ashes as it oozes down through the frame.  Texture can be seen here as well thanks to the high level of detail.

 

 

Macro abstract pattern and colors on Crepe Myrtle at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Hot Skull

To purchase a print of Hot Skull click here
To view a larger version of Hot Skull click here

I didn’t initially see this abstract pattern because it was not yet fully exposed.  Only a portion of it could be seen because the remaining area was covered with bark.  However, the bark was quite loose and seemed to be just barely hanging on.  My curiosity got the best of me, and I simply had to know what was under it.  When I gave it a little tug, the bark slipped right off and revealed what you see here in my Hot Skull piece.  I think that the gorgeous reds and really bright yellows exist because they have just been uncovered and haven’t had time to fade.  I was thrilled with the coloration, but more enticing was the design that looked like the outline of a skull (with eye and nose sockets and clenched teeth).  Seeing the reds and patterns with sharp tipped spikes instantaneously brought to mind flames and fire.  Who knew that Mother Nature was a Ghost Rider fan?  Cracks in the surface as well as texture can be seen here too due to the high level of detail.

 

 

To see related pieces click here, for a bonus image, see below.

 

 

Macro abstract pattern and colors on Crepe Myrtle at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Peeled

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