My Meal Design piece consists of three basic components: a hibiscus leaf, sepal, and petal. I loved the design cut into the yellow leaf likely by some type of insect that had eaten it. I placed it in the frame so that the midrib would run diagonally while filling the bug holes with the colors of the petal behind it. With a bit of aesthetic luck, the ribs of the background petal were also running up the frame on diagonal lines. I couldn’t do much with the green sepal as it was connected to the petal, but I felt that it was fine adding just a touch of additional color to the lower corner. The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual fibers to be seen.
I was attracted to the flower in Enticed by how unique the center was. While the flower had a similar color scheme (the very cool pinks/purples that change to orange), the middle was unlike any of the other flowers. For example, there are no disc florets or the cool looking flame like structures. That made me wonder if it was a different flower type completely (planted within the area along the bathrooms at the Butterfly Garden because it had comparable colors) or perhaps some genetically altered version.
Confectionery is close to being a vertical companion to Enticed. It is the same flower, but the perspective was changed. I loved how the petals were layered so I pulled back from the flower a little to bring a bit more of them into the frame. The colors were so sweet that they made me think of candy.
The flower in my Attractive composition, once again, has a similar color scheme with another distinctive center. I loved how the petals were layered and overlap each other here as well (that makes it easy to fill the frame with very nice colors). I also liked the furry looking edges of the petals in the very center and the stubble at the bottom of the petals next to them. The high level of detail allows individual hairs to be seen.
I only had a couple of minutes to check things out at the Chocolate Garden before heading back to the car for lunch. I looked at a couple of compositions, but didn’t feel that I had enough time to create anything. So, after our picnic, the Chocolate Garden was the first place I headed to. Due to conditions and lighting changes, none of the ideas I had before lunch looked good upon my return. However, I did discover the flower in my Chocolate Garden Hibiscus piece. The flower itself was quite large, but it was really low and close to the ground. That made positioning the tripod fairly challenging, and I had to work at it for a few minutes before I was able to manipulate the legs into a suitable arrangement. Aesthetically, I wanted the pistil to come down and away from the center of the flower vertically. I placed the two lower stigma discs on the bottom one third line, using the rule of thirds, and used that area as my focal point. That allowed the crossing line to fall nearly at the center of the stigma and lifted the pistil up into the corner of the frame. The high level of detail allows individual pieces of pollen (on the stigma discs) and individual hairs (on the stigma stems) to be seen.
We took a picnic lunch over to the Swan Lake Iris Gardens in early July. I created and scouted in the morning, had lunch, and then continued creating after lunch with a little more scouting as well. I look forward to having an opportunity to shoot when the iris is in full bloom (perhaps this coming summer).
The lush oranges and the abstract pattern formed by the rolled up petals near the center attracted me to the flower in my Rolls piece. In my mind’s eye, the objects concentrated in the very center (and seeping around the tubes) looked like little red and orange flames. Their points and sharper edges are softened by the circles, arcs, and curves of the petals. Taken together, they create tension in the center that dissipates in waves that flow out into the frame as the petals become larger and open up after being released. The sharp points along the curved edges of the petals help strengthen that feeling.
My artistic goal for Vortex was all about capturing the pink and red structure that forms an arch above the unopened disk florets in the center of the flower. Perhaps because it has a hole in it or because the shapes are curved like they are being forcefully pulled toward the center, it brought to mind a whirling eddy. Upon closer examination, the sharp tips lining the opening reminded me of the Sarlacc pit in the desert of Tatooine in Star Wars Return of the Jedi. I placed the mouth near the left one third line, using the rule of thirds, and used it for the focal point. Shooting at two times life-size quite close to the subject, the depth of field was very shallow.
I discovered the hibiscus in Pink Tinge at the Butterfly Garden. It was quite large which initially got my attention all by itself. I liked how the flower had pink tones that were blended in with the whites of the petals. Of course, the water drops were a bonus and all but forced me to create a composition. I placed the stigma discs very near the lower right side crossing line, using the rule of thirds, and used them as the focal point. I felt that placement gave the center reds, pistil, and petals a nice circular flow both into and around the frame.
I had a couple of artistic goals for the zinnia in my Churn piece. First, I wanted to capture the ring of disc florets. But, being directly over the top of them wasn’t desirable because I preferred maintaining approximately the same amount of space to the frame edges and including more of the petals. So, to do that, I used a perspective that allowed more petal length while simultaneously compressing the ring. As I’ve previously posted, more often than not, photography is about compromises. With the distance to the subject being so close, the depth of field was very shallow, but the angle I used forced the disc florets to deflect away from the camera’s sensor. Which meant that they would quickly exit the zone of sharpness that begins just before the focal point on the left side. Secondly, I wanted the petals and the gaps between them to feel like they were shooting out like sunstar beams from behind the disc florets.
The subject in my Hibiscus Bud piece was composed using one of the petals as the background. The bud is actually fairly close to the petal and even with the shallow depth of field, the arcs of the petal’s ribs are easily seen. Those details help provide it with a sense of movement as if it was being pushed out and away from the center of the flower. I liked the octopus-like arms that seem to be cradling and protecting the bud, and, I have to admit, they are what drew me to it. The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.
I’ve made previous posts with subjects from the gazebo-like area that sits between the two sides of the Rye Patch Rose Garden. That section is known as Patsy’s Garden and it doesn’t actually take up much real estate. Even though it’s relatively small, it seems to be updated with new and colorful flowers a few times a year. I usually check it on my way to the Rye Patch depending on where I park. On this particular summer morning, I started from Hopeland Gardens so I didn’t give it a look until I was headed back to the car, but I’m glad I did. The folks that maintain it had planted hibiscus with some very nice, bright colors.
The relative distances from the stigma to the anthers and from the anthers to the petals made choosing a perspective for my Pollination Target piece a critical compositional decision. Due to the shallow depth of field, an artist cannot expect to cover such ranges while maintaining sharpness without employing additional techniques (e.g., focus stacking). So I elected to shoot down into the flower. That option allowed me to keep the stigma discs sharp, maintain some shapes in the anthers and filaments, and utilize the interior colors. The high level of detail allows individual hairs on the stigma as well as pieces of pollen to be seen.
My compositional choice for the subject in Wrapped was to reduce it down to simple colors, shapes, and lines. This abstract was created from the petals of a hibiscus flower that has yet to unfurl and emerge. I like the sweeping arcs and curves, and I feel like they give it a sense of life – as if it had the ability to draw in a breath of air. The high level of detail allows individual hairs and surface textures to be seen.
I maintained the abstract theme for my Hibiscus Sepal piece by keeping it nearly as simple as Wrapped. I like the sweeping arcs in the background, the ribs under the sepal, and the sepal veins. I also felt that the greens of the sepal contrasted very nicely with the pinks and reds of the petals. The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual hairs both on the petal and sepal to be seen.
The ribs of the subject’s petals in Rippled remind me of waves, and they provide the piece with a sense of movement. While composed on a different flower, this abstract was also created from a hibiscus that has yet to open and spread out. The high level of detail allows individual hairs and surface textures to be seen.
Someone unfamiliar with flowers might not be able to recognize my Stigma Discs piece as having parts of one. In fact, it was composed by zooming in quite close – far enough to eliminate most of the normal flower indicators, which as noted in previous posts has been a qualifier to consider a given work abstract. However, in this case, one can easily make out the stigma, anthers, filaments, and style. That said, it was more difficult than usual to classify this one, and I considered calling it abstract. I like how round the pollen on the anther is and the hairs on the stigma. The high level of detail allows single pieces of pollen as well as individual hairs to be seen.