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 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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Macro Lily At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Quiet

 

Macro Lily at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Quiet

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Perhaps the gardeners that care for the big back garden at the Aiken County Historical Museum dug up the flowers that produced the bloom in my Translucent composition and replaced them with the plants that produced the flower in Quiet.  The two flowers were from the same spot but their appearances are fairly dissimilar.  I was attracted to this lily because the colors were different from the normally loud schemes I find and have composed.  The softer, subtler, more pastel yellows, subdued whites, and gently curved anthers all produce a calmer, soothing feel which is nice (once in a while).  It’s like listening to George Winston every now and then when you normally have Dokken, Judas Priest, and Van Halen playing.

 

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Macro Red Canna Lily At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Red Canna Lily

 

Macro Red Canna Lily at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Points

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The bright red colors called me over to the canna lily in my Points composition from across the south lawn at the Aiken County Historical Museum.  While it has an almost abstract feel, I liked the concentration of buds with the single flower.  When you are shooting real close to a given subject, the depth of field can be extremely shallow, but as you increase the distance between your lens and the subject, the zone of sharpness expands.  Composing while using a higher F-stop can result in background objects being visible.  In severe cases, the background can cause an image to become cluttered and confuse the viewer since they may not understand what the subject is.  To please my aesthetic eye, I do my best to avoid busy backgrounds, and this was one case where an adjustment was required.  This lily was fairly close to leaves, vines, and other flora in the background.  To dissolve those things down into colors, I dialed back the F-stop to a smaller number.  That is yet another example of the many artistic tradeoffs I’ve posted about previously.  You have to consciously decide how much subject sharpness you want to give away to get the background you need.  Once again, if you find yourself in this situation, your Depth Of Field Preview while using your camera’s Live View capability is quite valuable because you can use it to judge when you’ve produced the desired amount of blur.  Of course, there are processing tricks you can use to achieve similar results, but I believe in getting it right in the camera.  To me, the final result is always better, and you’ll spend significantly less time processing.

 

 

Macro Red Canna Lily at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Skinny

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I liked the mixture of hard points and softer round edges in my Skinny piece.  The blend of the buds and petals create a nice contrast.  This is the same subject featured in Points composed from a completely different perspective.  While keeping the majority of the buds, I wanted to bring more attention to the flower.  For the same reasons outlined above, I had to trade some subject sharpness for background blur here as well.

 

 

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

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I liked how the petals far outnumbered the buds in my Red Canna composition.  It’s interesting that this subject was quite close to the previous subject yet it had significantly more blooms.  Though the combination of buds to flowers is nearly opposite of the earlier pieces, I felt that it had a nice mixture, and I liked how they filled out the frame.  Once again, the proximity to background objects was a concern and subject sharpness had to be reduced by using a smaller F-stop.  The water drops were from a quickly moving shower that started spitting just before I pressed the shutter a couple more times.  I grabbed my gear and moved everything under the roof area on the south side of the museum until the rain stopped.  The high level of detail allows pieces of pollen and rain drops to be seen.

 

Macro Red Canna Lily at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Lily Tower

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Before I was run off by the thought of my equipment getting drenched, I had considered whether or not the prior lily subject could be shot at a higher F-stop.  Since the rain had ended, I returned to the subject, set the area up a bit, and composed Lily Tower.  Though I had to arrange some vines and use a plamp to hold the scene together, I was able to find a perspective and position the tripod so that there was a whole lot of space between the subject and the background (like 40 or 50 feet which was way outside the sharpness zone).  I liked the background because it was a bit darker against the bright reds (thanks to an angle that had the lens pointed into the leaves of a background tree).  The increased depth of field and high level of detail allows individual pieces of pollen and surface textures to be seen.

 

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

Canna Lily Leaves

I mentioned in a previous post that the Aiken County Historical Museum was surrounded by a fairly substantial wall.  In some places along the wall, grass or other natural cover exists, but in other spots there are areas with a variety of flora (including flowers and flowering bushes).  Both of the pieces in this post were discovered next to the wall that borders the south side of the property.

 

Macro abstract Canna Lily leaf at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Life Lines

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I was attracted to the leaf in my Life Lines piece by the size and color.  This leaf is quite large and since it was primarily backlit, the colors were especially striking.  I placed the midrib diagonally because I liked how the veins flowed away from it out into and across the frame.  Due to the shallow depth of field, I could have wished that the leaf wasn’t curled on the bottom, but artistically, I love the sweeping arcs.  The high level of detail allows surface texture, water drops, and wetness to be seen.

 

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

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I loved how the foreground leaf in my Lily Leaves composition was lit up by the rising sun.  I worked the camera into a position where the subject leaf was still being backlit while the background was filled with another canna lily leaf.  I liked how the complementary colors worked so well together.  I also liked the little tip, the darker ribs, and the water drops on the red leaf.

 

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Macro Abstract Canna Lily At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC: Part 1

Abstract Canna Lilies: Part 1

The compositions below are from the same plant group in the back garden at the Aiken County Historical Museum that I previously posted about.  The flowers took a pretty bad beating from a storm that came through the night before I captured these.  Only a single flower was in good enough shape to be photographed.

 

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

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I loved the random, abstract design on the canna lily in my Dropped In piece.  The oranges and yellows were also quite attractive.  But my favorite part has to be the large water drops.  For aesthetic reasons, I placed the flower in the frame using a perspective that would pull in as much of the patterns on the petal surfaces as possible.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual drops to be seen.

 

 

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

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Even though it’s obviously the same subject, Flow isn’t exactly a horizontal companion to Dropped In.  After I rotated the lens, I also had to change the perspective because for artistic motives I, once again, wanted to incorporate as much of the yellows, oranges, and reds in the abstract patterns into the frame.  I liked how the splashes of oranges and reds seem to have been expelled out of the center of the flower and create the impression that some are dripping back down into it.  I also felt that the large water drops were equally attractive from this view.  Surface texture and individual water drops can be seen thanks to the high level of detail.

 

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

Canna Lilies

I noticed some bright colors in the big garden at the Aiken County Historical Museum that looked like canna lily when shooting the coneflower I previously posted.  I knew that I needed to get over there and check them out before the wind started to pick up too much.

 

Macro Canna Lily at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Spattered Curves

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The first subject I looked at through the lens was the foreground flower in my Spattered Curves piece.  I loved the patterns on the petals and the ability to see down into the center of the flower.  I have been enthralled with this particular variety of canna lilies since the first ones I ever saw at Magnolia Springs State Park in Georgia.  And, I’ve wanted to create a composition featuring one since then.  The high level of detail allows individual dew drops on the surface of the petals to be seen.

 

 

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

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Yellow Canna was composed using the same subject, but it isn’t exactly a horizontal companion.  Indeed, the distance to the flower was shortened and the angle is different as well (in fact, it was completely reframed).  My artistic intent was to capture as much of the gorgeous oranges and yellows as possible while highlighting the fantastic pattern.  I love how the design has a sweeping, swirled feel as if it had been spinning clockwise when captured.  The high level of detail allows individual dew drops, both on the surface of the petals and along their edges, to be seen.

 

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Macro Lily Stamens At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Lily Stamens

All the lilies in this post were found in various spots of the front lawn area at the Aiken County Historical Museum.  I don’t normally spend much time searching for subjects in that location because the gardens usually offer more potential.  However, their bright colors were like beacons that guided me right to the blooms.

 

Macro Lily stamens at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Fire Escape

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The impression that the stamen in my Fire Escape piece created was that they were scampering away from intense heat or quickly trying to avoid being burned.  The yellows, oranges, and reds in the background reminded me of flames.  Even the anthers appear to be looking at and/or encouraging each other to ensure that they are all of the same mindset with regard to fleeing.  The high level of detail allows pollen and surface textures to be seen.

 

 

Macro Lily stamens at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Sizzling

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Sizzling has a similar fire/flames related theme with the stamen shooting up and out of the core where the most extreme heat exists.  In my mind’s eye, the two center stamen provide a sense of something frequently seen in nature; a mother followed very close by its baby (to the point of physically touching).  I also really like the yellow area to the right of the rightmost filament as it appears to be a flickering flame which strengthens the sensation of burning.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and pollen to be seen here too.

 

Macro Lily stamens at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Tines

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The stamen in Tines reminded me of a pitch fork.  I’ve posted before about how much I like lilies, and I’ve spent a lot of time shooting them.  I can say from experience that it is uncommon to find stamen by themselves with no apparent interference from the stigma.  The stigma is normally close to the stamen (or intrudes into the scene by being an out of focus object in front of them) and can be problematic when you want to create a composition of the stamen or anthers in isolation.  So, I was pleased to find this set of stamen with a hidden stigma.  I also liked how the two outside anthers curve outward (the leftmost one to the left and the rightmost one to the right).

 

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Macro Transparent Lily Petals At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Translucent

Macro Lily with transparent petals at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Translucent

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I discovered the unique looking lily in my Translucent piece along the front edge of the big garden at the Aiken County Historical Museum.  I’ve never seen anything quite like this before, and it was on the same plant as other lilies that didn’t have this unusual property.  I don’t know if it was sick, lacking something, or just very special, but it had almost translucent petals.  These lilies weren’t very big and were low to the ground (which made getting into a good position from which to create a composition a bit challenging).  I liked the curves of the filaments and the designs created by what appears to be veins in the petals.  The anthers give the impression of being electrically charged and sending out bolts of energy like some type of Tesla machine.

 

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Macro Canna Lilies And Buds At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Staged

Macro Canna Lilies and buds at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Staged

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The canna lilies in my Staged piece come from an area on the west side of the big pond in Hopeland Gardens where they’ve been blooming for many years.  In fact, I’ve created other works from the same location.  My artistic vision for this composition was to capture the various life stages of these flowers by sort of blending two of my other images Curly and Canna Buds.  I placed the focal point on the curl and the gorgeous colors of the foreground flower, kept the buds in the middleground as sharp and distinctive as I could, and then filled out the frame with the surrounding blooms.  The high level of detail allows dew drops and surface textures to be seen.

 

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