I found this little scene next to the chimney on the side of the Dollhouse. The chimney was being repaired due to some type of damage that it had sustained. While I composed Maple Rose, the petals and parts continued to fall away from their flowers. There was a fairly large area on the ground completely covered by the castoff pieces. Being a confessed color-junkie, I was thrilled to discover such a colorful and complementary combination of nature preparing for winter. The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.
The colors and shapes of this Stokes Aster I found on the side of the Dollhouse met both my colorful and interesting criteria. As I framed the composition for my White Flames piece, I felt that the inner shapes, with their sharp tips and orientation, resembled flames. It reminds me of the magic campfire colors I’ve seen, albeit burning in purple, blue, and white. While concentrated in the bottom center, they are shooting out in all directions which gives it a sense of being active. The high level of captured detail allows individual hairs, pollen, dew, water drops, and surface texture to be seen.
On one side of the Dollhouse in Hopeland Gardens there is some Daphne up next to the house and then an open area with some sitting benches. Beyond that is a patio with some flower pots placed around the outside edges. I’m not sure who updates the flowers in the pots (it could be the grounds keepers or perhaps it is the Aiken Garden Club), but I’ve been able to create some nice work from that area including the Dahlia below and the macro pansies from my four-part post.
I was initially attracted to the Dahlia in my Succulent piece by the colors and shapes. I was close enough to eliminate most of the flower identification cues thereby creating an abstract composition by reducing it to colors and lines. I like how the edges of the petals form arcs that curve and sweep up and out. Their round qualities provide a sense of softness and calm while the sharpness of the tips add just a bit of tension. The high level of detail allows individual pieces of pollen and surface texture to be seen.
My Color Portals piece is close to being a horizontal companion to Succulent, but the distance from the subject changed enough to where the petals now fill the frame. That makes this composition a bit more abstract since there is no longer even a hint of the background. The high level of detail allows hairs and surface texture to be visible here as well.
I’m not sure what these flowers are and several Google searches using different keyword combinations didn’t turn up anything. They were near the Dollhouse in Hopeland Gardens, and I don’t recall ever seeing them before or after the time that these compositions were created.
Since these flowers hang upside down, for my Under Cover piece I decided to get below the flower and shoot up into it. I used the purple stripes that form arcs coming down and out to create a sense of flow, and by maneuvering the camera into the right position, I lined the stamen up with the center stripes. I also found the purple pattern of color on the anther interesting. The high level of detail allows surface texture on the stamen and anthers to be seen.
The flower in my Air Drying composition is a perfect illustration of how these flowers hang. I positioned the camera so that I could pull in the yellow flower in the background without having it conflict with parts of the subject. I like the water drops as they tend to add a little more visual interest. The high level of detail captured permits a miniature background scene to be visible from within the largest drop of water on the stamen, a crystalline-like formation on top of the stigma, and surface textures to be viewed at larger sizes.
My Hooks piece is the vertical companion to Air Drying. Instead of isolating it away, this time I used the yellow background flower to enhance the anthers. Here too, the high level of detail captured allows miniature scenes to be viewed in the water drops.
I’ve written about lilies in previous posts and how they have an ability to satiate color-junkie cravings, but the subjects in my Dollhouse Doubles piece were off the chart in that regard. The greens, yellows, reds, and pinks combined with the blues and purples, that simultaneously highlight and fill, form a fantastic color palette. I found this delightful frame filling scene on the side of the Dollhouse in Hopeland Gardens. The Dollhouse is home to the Aiken Garden Club, and I think their gardeners may have been making a statement with this arrangement. I mean, what better way is there for a garden club to represent, right? For me, this is eye candy and one of my favorites. A high level of detail allows surface texture to be seen.
I created Core Attraction by isolating a single lily away from the group growing outside the Dollhouse. It shares most of the color palette with my Dollhouse Doubles piece and, from that perspective, is nearly a vertical companion to it. Here too, a high level of detail allows surface texture to be seen.
More often than not I’m amazed with what I find while exploring life at the macro level or hunting for the beauty within. The subject in Heart Like was in a group of similar flowers along a grassy area across from the Doll House. The ground looked recently tilled, and I would estimate that they had been planted no more than two weeks prior. Even though the flowers had nice colors, they were small and fairly close to the ground. The lower a subject is, the more challenging creating a composition can be because the available working area is reduced. Given those concerns coupled with the fact that this was an early summer morning and an abundance of other subjects were available, I could have easily walked right past them. But since I hadn’t previously seen anything growing in that spot, I was curious and decided that, at a minimum, I’d give them a quick exploration. I was not disappointed as my first look revealed how much we simply don’t see from a standing distance. For example, the shimmering petal surfaces that give the impression that someone poured glitter on them.
After examining several potential subjects, I found that they all had comparable shapes in their centers, but this one spoke to me. I felt that its center more closely resembled a heart and, in my mind’s eye, it had the ability to pump the pink color out into the petals with each beat. The high level of detail allows surface texture to be seen as well as individual hairs and what appear to be little scales on the heart’s surface.
The abstract composition of the subject in Signal was created by zooming in far enough to eliminate the normal flower indicators. Doing so reduced the piece down to colors, shapes, lines, and patterns. I found a group of these near the Doll House in Hopeland Gardens, and the brilliant purples and yellows called to me as if they were neon signs. It has an energetic, almost electric feel like high voltage sparks from a tesla coil or lightning bolts.
An Iris can be attractive when viewing the whole flower, but it may have as much, if not more, beauty on the inside. For example, the subject in my Dollhouse Iris piece was quite pretty and almost a color beacon when contrasted with the majority of hibernating life in Hopeland Gardens that winter afternoon. But, by positioning my camera to where I could create a composition under one of the standards, an entirely different scene was discovered. The veins of the fall, beard, and anther have a captivating allure all of their own. As I was composing this, I imagined the fall being a big tongue about to give the camera a loving lick.
In my Say Ah piece, I zoomed in much closer to this Iris. The proximity here eliminated a frame of reference and created an abstract composition. Looking at the fall, beard, and anther it felt like I was staring down the flower’s throat. The first thing that came to my mind was a doctor’s request when they are examining the inside of someone’s mouth, “Say ah.” I love the colors, the patterns in the veins, and the round, tubular shapes in the beard.
The Camellia in The Mask was blossoming in front of the Dollhouse in Hopeland Gardens. Primarily due to the odd shape, the center of it is what caught my attention. It gave me the impression of being some type of a bizarre or comic-like mask with uneven and irregular eye slots, a vented nose portal, and dangling, yellow snaggleteeth. At a minimum, it met my interesting criteria. I also liked the little bit of inner glow coming from behind thanks to some backlight; that gives it a small color boost and increases the sinister feeling. I think nature’s inexhaustible random creation ability is awesome.
I composed my Orange Splash piece to give the impression that the orange was flying up and out of the yellow. As if the stamen and stigma had been thrust down in a way that forced the orange to shoot away from them and spray up into the air. The soft, round edges of the orange cup have an almost liquid or viscous feel. Since a high level of detail was captured, the surface texture on both the stigma and anthers can be seen along with contours on the corona’s rim.
Though they both feature the same subject, Dollhouse Daffodil has decidedly different emotional content than Orange Splash. It feels much more placid and doesn’t appear to have a trace of anything forceful. Even though contours on the rim of the corona remain visible, it seems softer and less disturbed. A high level of detail was captured here as well, which allows the surface texture on the stigma and anthers to be easily seen.