Macro Beautyberry At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Beautyberry

 

Macro Beautyberry at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Beautyberry

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I liked how the berries in my Beautyberry piece resembled little purple balls.  Taken together across a much larger area of the bush, they produce a fairly large area of color which is what initially attracted me to them.  I searched in and around the bush until I found a branch that had an artistically pleasing layout of berries.  I also liked the way the gorgeous green leaves provided support by being at both ends and in between each of the three berry tiers.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual dew drops to be seen.

 

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Macro Abstract Canna Lily At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC: Part 2

Abstract Canna Lilies: Part 2

Part 2 is a continuation of the Abstract Canna Lilies posts from the same plant group in the big back garden at the Aiken County Historical Museum.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 1, click here.

 

 

Macro abstract Canna Lily at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Undulating

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I was called over to the lily in my Undulating composition by its bold colors.  In fact, this flower had the most attractive colors out of any I had seen blooming from this group all season.  But, I was even more impressed with the pattern they created.  I loved how the petals felt like waves rolling away from and crashing back into the center.  The high level of detail allows individual dew drops and surface texture to be seen.

 

 

Macro abstract Canna Lily at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Inner Smile

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Inner Smile is essentially the vertical companion to Undulating.  Though the pattern the colors form is the same, it does have a different feel when viewed vertically.  Thanks to the high level of detail, individual dew drops and surface texture can be seen here as well.

 

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Macro Abstract Waggie Windmill At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Waggie Windmill

 

Macro abstract Waggie Windmill Palm fronds at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Waggie Windmill

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I can’t even remember how many times I’ve looked for a composition using the palm tree in my Waggie Windmill piece.  I have always felt that it held an artistically pleasing creation waiting to be uncovered, but over the years I’ve wandered the Hopeland Gardens grounds, I never found the right combination (i.e., too much wind, poor lighting, bent or broken fronds, etc.).  But on this particular morning, all the pieces fell into place.  The fronds were being backlit by the morning sun, the wind was calm, and the fronds had no imperfections.  I loved the gorgeous green and yellow colors and the nearly perfect geometric pattern.  Mother Nature even gave me a bonus – dew drops.  I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to reveal the beauty I knew was there, and I quickly took advantage of it before any of the key ingredients were lost.

 

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Macro Abstract Tree Sap At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC: Part 7

Tree Sap: Part 7

Part 7 is a continuation of the Tree Sap blog posts from Hopeland Gardens.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 6, click here.

 

Macro abstract tree sap at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Bubbles

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The sap in my Bubbles composition consists of several drops.  I liked the shapes that were created by the drops merging with each other and flowing through one another.  Because I really liked aspects of the top drop, I placed it on the upper left crossing line, using the rule of thirds, and used it as my focal point.  I loved the smoky ribbon that winds its way through that drop and the colors and patterns it has pulled in.  The most unusual feature of these drops is the amount of tiny bubbles above the top drop.  They are difficult to see in the larger version, but if you look between the milky layers above the drop you will notice them.  No other drops or runs of sap I saw had that.  I also liked the refraction in the bottom drop with its reds, yellows, and blues.

 

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Black Eyed Susan Flowers At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Black Eyes

 

Black Eyed Susan flowers at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Black Eyes

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Regular readers may recall my posts on using busy backgrounds and how I normally avoid them.  My Black Eyes piece is yet another example of where I wanted an at least somewhat busier background.  I specifically placed the flowers in the foreground so that they would be a bit lower in the frame allowing another group of flowers several feet behind them to fill up the background.  The background flowers have almost been dissolved into simple colors, but they retain just enough shape to tell that they are the same variety as those in the foreground.  My artistic goal for this was to capture a simple, pretty scene in the big back garden at the Aiken County Historical Museum.

 

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Macro Tree Flowers At Rye Patch In Aiken, SC

Tree Flowers

 

Macro tree flower at the Rye Patch in Aiken, South Carolina
Stigma Star

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White blossoms on a small tree called to me from across the Rye Patch lawn.  I’ve never seen a bloom like these in that area before, but I don’t think that it has been planted there for very long.  In fact, the tree itself was only a couple of feet taller than I am.  The honey bees just loved the flowers and were all over them.  After more closely examining one, I loved the star shaped stigma surrounded by the bright orange and yellow anthers and filaments.  For my Stigma Star composition, I utilized the stigma as my focal point and placed it on the right most line using the rule of thirds (just a little off center).  I wanted to keep as many of the anthers in the frame as possible so the lens was moved slightly right to accommodate that aesthetic desire.  The high level of detail allows surface textures on the stigma and anthers to be seen.

 

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Macro tree flowers at the Rye Patch in Aiken, South Carolina
Tree Flowers

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After successfully creating a macro version of one of the flowers, I wanted my Tree Flowers composition to show them blooming on the tree.  I had to fight a bit more wind to get it, but luckily there was enough light to where I could keep my shutter speed under a second while maintaining a decent depth of field setting.  Interestingly, it appears that only one of the flower’s petals has a fuzzy/furry edge.  The high level of detail allows individual hairs (around a petal edge) and surface textures to be seen.

 

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Macro Abstract Tree Sap At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC: Part 6

Tree Sap: Part 6

Part 6 is a continuation of the Tree Sap blog posts from Hopeland Gardens.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 5, click here.

 

 

Macro abstract tree sap at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Double Drop

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The sap in Double Drop got my attention because of its shape.  It looked a little precarious as well, and I thought that it might fall off at any moment.  I framed the run on a bit of an angle so that it wasn’t so aesthetically static.  It reminded me of the glass I saw once at the end of a glass blower’s pipe during a demonstration in Jamestown, Virginia.  I loved the crystalline look and the colorful refractions and reflections.

 

 

Macro abstract tree sap at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Stuck

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In the smaller sized images, Stuck looks a bit like a messy, big pile of sap.  But, in the larger print sizes it really comes to life (unfortunately, this web site’s large display size doesn’t do it justice.  However, my POD site has the ability to show a portion of an image at 100% magnification which is more than enough to bring all those hidden details out.  Click on the purchase link above to view this at my POD site or contact me if you would like details on how to access that functionality).  I liked all of the various shapes and colors in the sap (especially the darker areas and the different brown hues).  There are intricate reflections being pulled, warped, and stretched all over the surface areas as well as sun spots glistening from the surfaces and creating colorful refractions.  There is so much to discover that you will likely find something that you previously haven’t seen each time your eye wanders around the frame.

 

 

Macro abstract tree sap at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Piles

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While it isn’t a vertical companion, Piles is similar to Stuck.  It includes the sap featured in Stuck, but I pulled back a little so that the entire area both above and below was captured.  The same caveat applies here as well and it simply can’t be fully appreciated without viewing it at larger sizes.

 

 

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Macro Abstract Tree Sap At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC: Part 5

Tree Sap: Part 5

Part 5 is a continuation of the Tree Sap blog posts from Hopeland Gardens.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 4, click here.

 

 

Macro abstract tree sap at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Flat Drop

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I was attracted to the sap in my Flat Drop piece primarily because of its shape.  It seems to be expanding horizontally and getting wider instead of longer.  Which is curious because gravity should be pulling it down.  I also liked the color striations and patterns inside the sap.

 

 

Macro abstract tree sap at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Crystal Streak

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The run of sap in Crystal Streak caught my eye because of how clear (almost like glass) it was.  I decided to frame it diagonally for several aesthetic reasons.  First, it was so skinny that placing it vertically wasn’t nearly as visually interesting.  Secondly, the gap created by the moss and bark added visual interest when placed beside it diagonally, but seemed to take away from it when vertical.  And finally, the moss seemed to create a diagonal bed for the run to lay on with open bark areas in opposite corners (which didn’t exist when it was turned vertically).  Even though it is thin, there are some nice colorful refractions and reflections.

 

 

Macro abstract tree sap at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Light Catchers

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With a bit more golden hour light on the scene in my Light Catchers composition, I moved the lens down the tree a little.  Essentially, I placed the tip of the top drop on the first upper crossing line using the rule of thirds.  That drop is also at the end of the sap run in Crystal Streak, and I loved how it was throwing light on the bark beside it.  I also liked the random, abstract shape of the larger blob near the bottom of the frame and the fact that they are located diagonally from each other with the moss covered gap in the bark connecting them.  Both areas have wonderfully colored reflections and refractions (with the top drop having rainbow like colors) as well as sunstars.

 

 

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Box Turtle At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Private Pond

 

Duckweed covered Box turtle at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Private Pond

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If you’re a regular reader of my blog posts, you may remember a post where I described the no longer operational fountain in Hopeland Gardens.  I discovered the female box turtle in my Private Pond piece in the catch basin portion of the fountain system.  When the fountain was functioning, water from the canal would flow into the basin where it would, presumably, be pumped back up to the starting point.  With no water streaming down the canal, only surface runoff, rain, etc. can get into the catch basin.  I’m not sure how she got into the basin, but, because the cement walls are pretty high, she was essentially trapped until it fills with enough water (or perhaps something else she could utilize) for her to climb out.  I didn’t see any other turtles so she has the whole area to herself.  I had been checking on her during previous trips, but wasn’t happy with the background or her position.  Being completely surrounded by duckweed presented the best opportunity I had been given.  While she remained perfectly still, her throat was moving in and out (which I liked because it shows movement and implies breathing).

 

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Macro Abstract Canna Lily Leaf At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Wet Canna Leaf

 

Macro abstract Canna Lily leaf at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Wet Canna Leaf

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I loved the greens combined with the dark red veins in my Wet Canna Leaf piece.  This is another composition from the area along the south wall at the Aiken County Historical Museum where the canna lilies live.  Because of its abstract quality (i.e., simple colors and lines), I really appreciated the ability of the dew drops to bring additional visual interest.  Aesthetically, I didn’t want it to feel too mathematically exact or mechanical so it’s not perfectly centered within the frame, but it’s close enough to give the impression that I intended it to be.

 

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