Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 14

Yonce Lilies: Part 14

 

Part 14 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 13, click here.

 

 

 

Macro abstract rolled canna lily leaf interior at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Down The Drain

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Just a simple concept was enough to attract me to the canna lily leaves in my Down The Drain piece.  As I looked down the tube formed by the rolled leaves, my artistic vision was to create a naturally abstract composition that ventured into them.  I loved how they were swirled and pulled my eye deeper inside.  In my mind’s eye, the spiraling effect immediately made me think of a drain.  With the very shallow depth of field my experimental macro rig produces, making a determination as to where the focal point should be placed was tricky.  To increase my possible opportunities, several compositions were created with varying focal points.  I then selected the most aesthetically pleasing winner during my post processing evaluation phase using the much larger computer monitor.  Having a decently sized display (e.g., 27 inches) allows the ability to get a good overall feel of your artwork and makes picking the most desirable version easier.  And, don’t get me wrong, the promotion decision is strictly based on emotional response.

 

 

Macro abstract canna lily leaf and dew drop at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Injection

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I was attracted to the canna lily scene in my Injection piece by several factors.  For example, the overall naturally abstract feel, the lively striped background, the bands around the center stalk, and the fantastic dew drop.  This was one of those settings where you’re so pleased it makes you chuckle with excitement and anticipation.  In my mind’s eye, the large drop near the top of the needle-like protrusion immediately made me think of a liquid that had been forced from a syringe to ensure that no air bubbles exist.  Because I placed the focal point on the drop, the background stripes can be seen within it, which created another visually appealing element.  Even though the depth of field is quite shallow, enough detail remained in the background to create a psychedelic feel.  The background is actually fairly wet and covered with lots of dew drops, but they are faded just enough to where they add additional interest.

 

 

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This is the final post from my visits to the Yonce farm.  It is such a great place to find colorful and interesting subjects.  I also had a couple of nice visits with Bob after having created during the best light of the morning.  The last time we met he was recovering from being run over by his antique tractor in an unusual, freak accident where he managed to start it while it was in gear when standing in front of a rear wheel.  He was actually pretty lucky to get out of the situation as well as he did because the outcome could have been much worse.  He indicated that he was going to continue to “slow down” and maybe concentrate on the front gardens while letting the others go in the coming growing season.  I hope to get back over there soon if for no other reason than to just visit with them.

Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 13

Yonce Lilies: Part 13

 

Part 13 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 12, click here.

 

 

 

Macro collection of daylily stamen at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Gathered

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I was attracted to the daylily in my Gathered piece by the colors and the way in which the anthers were grouped.  In my mind’s eye, the stamens felt like they had congregated or were in the process of coming together in a way that they would easily fit within a vertical frame.  As if they were planning a photographic opportunity to capture a family reunion, but still fumbling around not sure where everyone is supposed to be.  I’m not sure what deposited the hairs on the anthers, but as an interesting side note, the two hairs protruding above the leftmost anther were useful in selecting the sharpest image.  I was able to utilize them to determine if any movement (even the slightest amount) had occurred during the one second of shutter time.  Which was important since the wind picked up during the creation of the compositions.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and, as previously noted, individual hairs to be seen.

 

 

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Macro abstract daylily anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Blue Pod

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The interesting shapes and colors of the anthers attracted me to the scene in my Blue Pod piece.  In my mind’s eye, their unique appearance reminded me of dolphins.  With my experimental macro rig focused on the anthers, the very shallow depth of field ensured that most of the filaments were nearly outside the zone of sharpness and unable to retain much detail.  Along with their color being similar to the background, the filaments just about blended right in.  Which fit my artistic vision of frolicking dolphins and assisted with the creation of a naturally abstract setting.  Surface textures and pollen pieces are visible here as well thanks to the high level of captured detail.

 

 

 

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Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 12

Yonce Lilies: Part 12

 

Part 12 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 11, click here.

 

 

 

Macro abstract pointed daylily anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
On Point

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The strange shape of the wet anthers attracted me to the flower in my On Point piece.  I had never previously seen anthers like these (at the Yonce farm or anywhere else) on a daylily.  I didn’t have the opportunity to ask Bob if this was, in fact, a daylily or to inquire about the specific type it might be.  As it was growing in the front garden (the one closest to the road) and that whole section is full of daylilies, I’d like to believe that it is.  The sharp tips and swollen, bumpy areas make it look like a genetic mutation.  Which is possible since during a prior discussion with Bob, he described the process he used to create his own daylily variations.  I liked the fiery, dark reds in the filaments and the oranges and yellows in the background.  In combination with the pointed anthers, they produce a somewhat menacing vibe, and I felt that the scene would make a nice addition to my Naturally Abstract gallery.  Surface textures and dew drops can be seen thanks to the high level of captured detail.

 

 

Macro abstract backlit daylily petals at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Magma Vent

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The petals in my Magma Vent piece are from the same flower featured in On Point.  So not only did it have unique anthers, the petals were also layered.  Another interesting characteristic was that the outermost petals came to a sharp point.  What really grabbed my attention though was the fact that the main petal in this setting was being backlit.  The golden hour light had enhanced the entire surface.  The gorgeous oranges and yellows combined with the striations immediately reminded me of lava flowing from a volcano.  My artistic vision was to create a naturally abstract composition where the dark red, cooler, outer layer is above the glowing, hotter, oozing, molten rock as it moves up and out from underneath it.  Thanks to the experimental macro rig’s isolation capabilities, I was able to concentrate on a fairly small area and fill the entire frame using only the flower’s petals.  Surface textures are visible here as well.

 

 

Macro abstract daylily petal at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Ribs

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I was attracted to the naturally abstract scene in my Ribs piece by the simple colors and lines I discovered on the petals of this daylily.  Of course, I had to search for a location on the flower that was free of any anthers, stigma, or stamen to create a relatively clean, minimalist feeling, composition.  I love how using nothing more than magnification gives me an ability to reduce subjects down to such basic components.  Even though there are some pieces of pollen and surface textures can be seen, there isn’t much more than that in the frame.  That being said, the color junkie in me was also quite happy with the colors and their transitions.

 

 

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Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 11

Yonce Lilies: Part 11

 

Part 11 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 10, click here.

 

 

 

Macro abstract dew drops on red daylily petal at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Red Drops

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I was attracted to the daylily in my Red Drops piece by the rich, dark red colors of the petal as well as the water drops.  I liked the distinctive naturally abstract qualities of the scene as well as the dynamic aesthetics of the hard and soft areas.  For example, the surface of the petal has a crinkled texture while the water drops appear to be silky smooth.  While I did create some compositions using the diffuser, I preferred the version without since I like the sunstars in the water drops.  As I’ve noted in previous blog posts, I also like how the water acts as a magnifying glass and brings out additional details in the surface underneath the drops.

 

 

Macro abstract daylily petals resemble wave at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Trough Drop

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I was initially attracted to the daylily in my Trough Drop piece by the colors, but the relatively wet surface quickly grabbed and held my attention.  My artistic vision was to utilize the isolation capability of my experimental macro rig on a section of the flower that had both elements.  I felt that the inner rim of the petal (with the gorgeous color transitions) combined with the water flowing down the outside of the petal into a drop created a nice naturally abstract scene.  By placing the focal point on the drop, the zone of sharpness runs along the rim, and the very shallow depth of field helps reinforce the fact that it is setting on a ledge.  In my mind’s eye, from a bug’s perspective, it might feel like you were looking over the edge of a colorful trench.  Within the zone of sharpness, surface texture is visible.

 

 

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Macro colorful daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Collection

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This scene is from the same daylily that I used to create Red Drops, and since I was already at the flower, I decided to see what it looked like on the inside for my Collection piece.  When you look at all of the colors between the two images, they offer visual proof of why I feel lilies make such fantastic subjects.  It really is amazing that a single flower can produce a rainbow of tones.  I also liked the design that the anthers formed and how a single independent stamen was peaking out from behind the others.  The high level of detail allows surface texture to be seen.

 

 

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Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 10

Yonce Lilies: Part 10

 

Part 10 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 9, click here.

 

This is the first post from my third and final trip to the Yonce farm for the season.  I tried something knew for every image I created during this outing.  I decided to use an extension tube with my normal macro rig.  So, for those of you playing at home, all of the remaining images in this series of blog posts are using the Canon 180mm L, 2X Extender, and 36 mm of tube.  I haven’t tried to calculate the highest magnification level, but it has to be more than two times life-size.  I’m also not sure what the lowest magnification amount would be.  This was a bit of an experiment and to try stepping into the world of extreme macro.

 

 

Macro abstract group of daylily anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Pile Up

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The design of the anthers in my Pile Up piece attracted me to this setting.  I liked their stacked configuration and how they were so close to each other.  At a magnification greater than two times life-size, the depth of field is even more limited.  That ensured that the background details would be completely dissolved with only simple colors remaining.  In fact, the depth is so shallow that even though the anthers are in close proximity, parts of them fall outside the zone of sharpness.  You might not even know that this scene consists of flower parts, which is one of the qualities I enjoy about most naturally abstract subjects (i.e., you’re not really sure what you’re seeing – it’s just colors and shapes).  That being said, within the zone of sharpness, the high level of detail allows surface texture, hairs, pollen, and individual dew drops to be seen.

 

 

Macro abstract interior daylily petal at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Petal Ribs

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One thing I discovered with my venture into extreme macro is that having that type of magnification allows you to easily isolate small areas away from a subject.  Of course, I was primarily attracted to the scene in my Petal Ribs piece by the color transitions, but secondarily I really liked the rolling, wave-like ridges on the petals.  There was no question in my mind that this setting would fit perfectly in my Naturally Abstract gallery.  The combination of isolation and a very shallow depth of field allowed a composition to be created that consists of colors, shapes, and lines.  From an aesthetic perspective, I liked the largest dew drop along the petal edge so I placed the focal point on it and let the remaining areas fall into the zone of sharpness in relation to that spot.  Some surface texture and other dew drops are also visible.

 

 

Macro abstract backlit interior daylily petal at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Ripple Glow

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I was attracted by the backlighting in my Ripple Glow piece.  Once again, I utilized the ability to isolate a section of the daylily away from the rest of the flower.  Here too, the naturally abstract qualities (i.e., simple colors, lines, and shapes) are obvious.  Though it was not from the same flower as Petal Ribs, the color transitions were equally (if not more) captivating.  I loved the gorgeous greens and the luminescence provided by the golden hour morning sun.  Aesthetically, I wanted to enhance the ridges on the petal.  Interestingly, when the zone of sharpness is incredibly thin, it can be difficult to select a focal point that allows your artistic vision to be realized.  To overcome that issue, I composed several versions with different focal points and then selected the winner during my inspection process on the computer.

 

 

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Macro Abstract Wound Vine At The Rye Patch In Aiken, SC

Wind Down

 

Macro abstract wound vine at Rye Patch in Aiken, South Carolina
Wind Down

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While exploring the shrubs and trees on the south side of the Rye Patch next to Berrie road, I was attracted to the scene in my Wind Down piece by the naturally abstract design of the vine.  I refused to give up on capturing this even though Mother Nature tried hard to convince me that I should move on to another subject.  She threw wind, cloud cover, and lighting changes at me, but I would not be deterred.  It took more than an hour and over a hundred attempts to create.  Composing anything that is connected to a bush or tree is always challenging when you only use natural light and even more so when the magnification level is increased.  Their surface area is so large that the smallest amount of wind affects the branches and results in subject movement.  Usually employing a plamp will only minimally increase stability since it’s not strong or large enough to counteract the movement of a branch or limb.  Having patience becomes very important, which can be quite difficult because, more often than not, you feel that other, better subjects are being missed while you wait for the perfect conditions.  If you are also under a time constraint, the pull to seek another opportunity is easily amplified inside your head.  If you simply can’t fight that feeling, it sometimes works to convince yourself that there isn’t anything else as good as what you currently want by giving up on it temporarily.  That is, complete your exploration of the remaining area and then come back.  That doesn’t always work though, and I’ve left images with the intent to return without being able to (e.g., ran out of time, sun went down and I lost too much light, etc.).  And I learned a long time ago to never think that you can come back another day.  It might seem reasonable at the time, but, for me, that hasn’t ever worked.

 

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Macro Abstract Pollen Covered Sunflower Center At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Spiked Teeth

 

Macro abstract pollen covered sunflower center at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Spiked Teeth

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The sunflower in my Spiked Teeth piece may have been planted with the help of Mother Nature.  It was growing beneath the bird feeders in Hopeland Gardens and they are filled with sunflower seeds.  After viewing the center of the flower at two times life-size magnification, my artistic vision was to create another naturally abstract composition that featured the sharp points and their spikes with pollen on, between, and surrounding them.  This was a very difficult image to capture, but not because of anything technically challenging.  Even though I was using a plamp to hold it, there was nearly constant movement.  In fact, in one of my audio notes, I made the comment that it must be alive and moving under its own power.  The wind speed wasn’t above where I usually pack up and go home, so it must have been due to the weight and size (i.e., large surface area) of the head relative to the stalk.  I literally created hundreds of images just to get a couple of keepers.

 

 

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Macro Flowers Beside The Dollhouse At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Dollhouse Flowers

 

Macro small flowers and buds beside the Doll House at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Little Flowers

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I generally follow a circuitous route while exploring the Hopeland Gardens grounds.  Over the years I’ve learned where I’ll likely have the best chance at finding something to point my camera at, and that changes depending on the season, the timeframe (e.g., early, mid, or late), weather patterns, etc.  However, I will almost always make my way around the Dollhouse because when it is being properly tended to, the odds of discovering subjects are quite high.  Such was the case the morning I created my Little Flowers piece.  I couldn’t say when these were planted, but I didn’t remember seeing them on any prior trips around that area (maybe they were there, but they hadn’t yet bloomed).  I was attracted to them by their vibrant colors and unique shape.  They appear to bloom on top while their petals slope downward.  My artistic vision was to capture both the flowers and the buds after lining them up with the gorgeous blue flowers in the background.  To ensure that the background only consisted of colors, I had to compose nearly wide open.  That didn’t allow for much depth, but, even with that, individual hairs and surface texture is visible.

 

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Macro abstract icy blue and pink flames Doll House flower at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Icy Pink Flames

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Just a few feet north of where the previous flowers were growing, I composed my Icy Pink Flames piece.  I had created a similar image from the same general location almost a month prior to composing this, so I thought another look at these flowers might be worth my time.  I believe this may be a type of coneflower.  Whatever it is, I loved the colors and naturally abstract patterns.  In my mind’s eye, the florets looked like pink flames with light blue and purple tips.  My artistic vision was to center it horizontally in the frame so that the flames could expand outward toward the edges.  Thanks to the high level of captured detail, surface texture and individual hairs can be seen.

 

 

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Macro Abstract Coleus Leaf Veins And Surface At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Veins

 

Macro abstract coleus leaf veins and surface at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Veins

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I was attracted to the coleus leaf in my Veins piece by the designs and patterns on its surface.  I discovered this leaf in the same location as the leaves I wrote about in a previous post. <URL to Macro Abstract Coleus Leaves At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC>  Once again, I felt that this scene would be a welcome addition to my Naturally Abstract gallery.  My initial artistic vision was to capture the spatter-like features since they have an undeniably abstract feel.  But, in the process of doing that, Mother Nature modified the appearance of the leaf.  The golden hour light washing over the cuticle created a whole new set of desirable characteristics.  I normally prefer even lighting, and I composed several images that didn’t have any sunrise highlights.  However, in this case, the addition of the light and shadows along the inner veins accentuated their depth and dimensions.  Beyond that, I felt that it added another abstract layer underneath the spots along the arches.  I very much preferred the combination of the abstract layers.  The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.

 

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Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 9

Yonce Lilies: Part 9

 

Part 9 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 8, click here.

 

 

Macro daylily with triangular petal design at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Triangular

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The unique triangle pattern on the petals in the background attracted me to the daylily in my Triangular piece.  I had never previously seen that type of a design on any lily.  With all of the pollen on the anthers, filaments, stigma, and petals it has a more disordered feel than most of my work, but that’s a good thing because it helps offset any implied precision brought in through the geometric shape.  While I placed the focal point on the anthers and they are in front of the petals, a good amount of detail remained in the background.  For example, veins are visible in the petals.  By using a magnification greater than life-size but less than two times that level, the background was able to retain some of its features and it didn’t dissolve down into simple shapes and colors.  The high level of captured detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.

 

 

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Macro abstract daylily stamen and anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Dreamy Anthers

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As is usually the case, the colors of the flower in Dreamy Anthers brought me over to this scene.  While reviewing angles and placement, I quickly realized that the distances between the foreground and background anthers exceeded the depth available in the zone of sharpness.  In fact, even the detail in the middleground anther quickly dissipated.  Since the background itself had dissolved down into shapes and colors, my artistic vision was to add to my Naturally Abstract collection by placing the focal point on the front, leftmost anther.  That created a dream-like effect on the remaining anthers by progressively fading their attributes away.  Since the filaments have a tone similar to that of the background, they tended to blend in with it.  I also liked the rays of light feeling produced by the background shapes on the petals as they appear to be streaming out and away from the anthers.  Though the depth of field is quite shallow, individual pieces of pollen and surface texture are visible.

 

 

Macro abstract daylily anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Ascending

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I was attracted to the flower in my Ascending piece by the group of anthers in this setting.  As I found them to be quite aesthetically pleasing, my artistic vision was to feature the anthers up close and personal.  Of course, as I’ve previously written, when composing at two times life-size, the depth of field is incredibly shallow.  Luckily, there was just enough difference in the yellows of the pollen to maintain edge distinction on most of the anthers.  That being said, the attractive orange and brown tones just inside the pollen lines increase the apparent edge depth a bit more.  Due to the very shallow zone of sharpness, details quickly faded and some merging took place.  For example, a couple of the filaments have the appearance of being combined and their colors are close to those found in the background.  Which is a desirable effect since it allows the focus to be on the anthers.  Within the zone of sharpness, surface texture and individual pieces of pollen (two different types) can be seen.

 

 

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