Hibiscus Bud At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Hibiscus Bud

Macro Hibiscus bud at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Hibiscus Bud

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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.

 

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Hibiscus At Rye Patch In Aiken, SC

Pollination Target

Macro Hibiscus at Rye Patch Rose Garden in Aiken, South Carolina
Pollination Target

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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.

 

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Daylilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 3

Yonce Daylilies

Part 3 is a continuation of the Yonce Daylilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 2, click here.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Pink Burst

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Upon seeing the vibrant colors of the subject in Pink Burst, I knew that I had to create a composition using that flower.  I worked the camera into a position where the stamen were completely inside of the center highlights which provide a spotlight effect behind them.  The center colors combined with the arcs and curves create a feeling that the stamen, following behind the stigma, have burst through the background and are now exposed and free to roam.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Naturally Brushed

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The dark reds in Naturally Brushed create a brush stroke effect especially near the transition area to the yellows.  It’s interesting because the transformation is random, uneven, and dappled as if the paint brush was nearly dry or it was purposefully lifted so that it just barely left a color change.  The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Stamen Tower

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While the fiery and vibrant colors of Stamen Tower were very appealing, the pattern that the stamen formed was equally enticing.  Their tight grouping and abundant covering of pollen reminded me of a tower with the tallest anther looking like a spire.  The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen here as well.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Chubby Anthers

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I had several goals in mind while composing my Chubby Anthers piece.  Most obviously, and I think for any normal color-junkie, was capturing the gorgeous colors.  Secondarily, I wanted to show more of the chicken fat that I previously wrote about.  I really like how it looks and that characteristic is not something that I usually see on daylilies.  I feel that it adds another dimension and increases the visual interest.  But, most importantly, I was impressed by how large the anthers looked.  They’re wide and give the impression of being juicy.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Ruffles

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Not being that familiar with the concept of chicken fat, I don’t know if it still carries that designation on daylilies that are of the solid color variety.  I guess that’s a good question for Bob the next time I make it back out to his gardens.  Nonetheless, I do appreciate the ornamental look displayed in my Ruffles piece.  Here it reminds me of pleating – especially the lower creases.  I also like how the stamen and stigma are so closely packed in a tight grouping which created an unusually tidy and focused area.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual hairs and a tiny water drop on the stigma to be seen.

 

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Daylilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 2

Yonce Daylilies

Part 2 is a continuation of the Yonce Daylilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 1, click here.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Independent Stamen

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The subject’s arcs, curves, and ridges combined with the interior color and shape in my Independent Stamen piece really draws focus to the stamen.  To compose this, I maneuvered the camera into a perspective that forced the stamen to remain within the highlighted center.  I like how the main group forms what looks like flames, but, as nature is prone to do, there is a random element present and the bottom stamen appears to be off by itself.  While I would have preferred it to be a bit less autonomous, it does add a certain visual interest by being alone.  The high level of detail allows individual pieces of pollen and surface textures to be seen.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Blue Accent

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While there is a lot going on in the background with the ridges, color rings, and ruffles, I didn’t notice a fairly subtle characteristic of my Blue Accent piece until I processed it.  There is a small area of blue highlight on the anthers where the colors transition from white to black.  As I’ve written in previous posts, I love finding those little things when exploring a creation.  The high level of detail allows individual pieces of pollen and surface textures to be seen here as well.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Grave Digger

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I’m not sure how many monster truck fans also have an appreciation for the beauty inside flowers, but I do believe I’ve at least hinted that I’m a bit eclectic in previous posts.  The colors and shapes displayed by the subject in Grave Digger made me immediately think of that truck.  The dark purples and lime greens are prominent colors in both palettes, and the pitch fork pattern that the stamen form would seem to fit well with its overall theme.  The purple ring of color running through the center of the filaments bumps the sinister feeling up just a bit.  The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Splatter

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The dark reds in Splatter combined with the random scattering of reds around the transition area to yellow remind me of blood.  That said, I think that comes primarily from the color as it does not in any way feel gruesome to me.  The vibrant, happy yellows, filament arcs, and round anther shapes control the tone.  Even the two front anthers seem to be lovingly touching each other.  The high level of detail allows dew, individual pieces of pollen, and surface textures to be seen.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Bustin’ Out

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The anthers in Bustin’ Out appear to be splitting their seams and overflowing with pollen.  As a color-junkie, I obviously love the colors here, but I also like how the stamen pattern reminds me of flames.  The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.

 

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Daylilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 1

Yonce Daylilies

While out driving around one summer weekend near the city of Ridge Spring, I passed a field of very nice colors.  Curious, I turned the car around and went back.  As I pulled off the road and onto the grass I noticed a sign that read “Daylilies For Sale”.  I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt to look around since this was apparently a place of business, though there wasn’t anyone in sight.  As I was examining the daylilies and wonderful colors, an older gentleman came out of the nearby house.  We exchanged pleasantries and I proceeded to excitedly praise the wonders my eyes had taken in.  I had never seen so much beauty in one place.  I’ve written about how lilies can be superb subjects in previous posts, so this was like combining every one of those flowers in a single field.

After calming down a little, I told him that I was a Fine Art and Nature Photographer and that I would love the opportunity to come back and capture some of his blooming art.  He introduced himself as Bob Yonce and gave me permission to come back anytime.  Bob and I continued to talk while he showed me many different types of lilies, answered questions, pointed out specific traits/characteristics, and described his love for growing and selling flowers.

As we were headed toward his house so he could show me other gardens, his wife Deloris came out and met us.  What a sweet couple.  They’ve been married forever and share a love of gardening.  They’re just down-home, good people.  They have several gardens and grow a wide variety of plants and flowers that they then prepare and take around to local venues and sell.  And they sell gourds near their house on the honor system.  I’m not sure what their day jobs were, but apparently the flowers and plants are more like a hobby that pays for itself and gives them a little additional spending cash.

After having spent an informative and color-filled time with the gracious and generous hosts, I informed them that I would be back as soon as the right conditions permitted it.  If the wind report looked like it might be good the night before, I would get up early the next day and eagerly check it again using both local and national sources.  Finally, a day arrived that had low wind speed, and I made my way back to the Yonce farm.  All works here and in future parts/posts were created on that fine summer morning.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Candy Anthers

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Bob was already tending to his daylilies when I arrived.  He came over and we talked a bit more.  I explained that I’d be using my macro rig and, as he had taken a photography class many moons ago, he understood that meant I needed the wind to be as calm as mother nature would allow.  He knows his land and flowers very well and informed me that I’d be better off in the back section since it was farther away from the road and not as open.  He also knew which direction the wind was coming from and felt that I would have less to deal with than had I stayed in the front where I was already set up for my first composition.

I was like a kid in a candy store.  There were so many subjects that it was difficult to pick one over another.  However, the anthers and colors of the flower in my Candy Anthers piece caught and held me.  The yellows of the flower were quite vibrant, but the yellow and orange outside and marshmallow inside of the anthers was not something that I had come across before.  The anthers reminded me of candy.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen on the anthers.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Red Ring

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Instead of a more or less solid color, the petals of the subject in my Red Ring piece have a conspicuous ring of color breaking them up.  I also found it interesting that the stigma and filaments have a similar change of tone near their midsections.  I don’t know if this configuration is specifically intended to draw pollinators in like a bullseye on a target, but I can say that it certainly had that effect on me.  The high level of detail allows surface textures, individual hairs, and dew drops to be seen.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Chicken Fat

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During our initial visit, Bob showed me several flowers that had a peculiarly named trait.  He explained that the ornamental looking ruffles along the outside of the petals is known as chicken fat.  Which was something I had never seen before on a daylily.  In my Chicken Fat piece, I used the frill to create an edge along the fiery interior colors.  I found the anther’s shape with their sharper points unusual, and the way they are wrapped and twisted reminded me of a flame.  The high level of detail allows dew and surface textures to be seen.

 

Macro Daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Creamy Centers

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The colors of the subject in Creamy Centers immediately drew me in.  I love the greens, pinks, and reds.  But the marshmallow-like centers and puffy yellow outsides of the candy toned anthers combined with the flowing pattern they form kept my attention.  The high level of detail allows surface texture to be seen here as well.

 

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Daylilies At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Museum Daylilies

Macro abstract Daylily stamens at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Stamen Pack

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Being physically close to a given subject and zooming in to the point of having removed nearly all of the flower identification cues is a compositional choice.  In Stamen Pack, that creates an abstract piece where only a single anther is sharply focused.  Due to the extremely shallow depth of field, the neighboring anthers are only visible as simple shapes while the flower background has been reduced down to just colors.  If you didn’t know that you were looking at the anthers of a real daylily blooming at the Aiken County Historical Museum, this could just as easily be a painting of anthers created from an artist’s imagination.

 

Macro abstract Daylily stamens at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Group Leader

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Group Leader utilizes the same abstract creating technique found in Stamen Pack.  Here the depth of field is just the smallest amount deeper and a portion of the next closest anther shares the sharp focus.  In my mind’s eye, if I imagine the stamen having personalities, then the one at the focal point becomes the leader of this group.  The remaining stamen are split between knowing their role (perhaps being part of the command chain) and eagerly anticipating their next assignment or order.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and pollen to be seen.

 

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Macro Daylilies at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Stereo

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I couldn’t resist the left and right side pairing of the daylilies in my Stereo piece.  As if it were some type of sibling rivalry, they appear to be fighting for a chance to be noticed or to best one another for the photographer’s attention.  If they had a voice, one can imagine them saying, “Pick me, pick me.”  I think I got the better of the deal by backing out enough to fill the frame with both of them.  The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.

 

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Trillium At Black Rock Mountain State Park In Mountain City, GA

Black Rock Mountain Trillium

Macro Trillium at Black Rock Mountain State Park in Mountain City, Georgia
Black Rock Mountain Trillium

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While hiking on a trail not far from the red mountain laurel, I discovered another flower that I had never seen before.  Luckily the subject in Black Rock Mountain Trillium was right next to the stairs and not too far from the trail head which made it easy to get to after returning to my car and gathering my gear.  I like the arcs and curls as well as the random sprinkling of color between the yellow strips of pollen on the stamen.  The high level of detail allows surface textures, individual hairs, and pieces of pollen to be seen.

 

Macro Trillium at Black Rock Mountain State Park in Mountain City, Georgia
Beckon

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The change of perspective in my Beckon piece makes the curls seem as if they are drawing you in or subtly calling out, asking you to come closer.  Their curvature creates a sense of pulling towards the center of the flower.  The high level of detail allows surface textures, individual hairs, and pieces of pollen to be seen here as well.

 

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Daisy On Silver Bluff Road In Aiken, SC

Sunny

Macro Daisy near Silver Bluff Road in Aiken, South Carolina
Sunny

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The daisy in my Sunny piece reminds me of a sun.  Its round center with what appears to be flames and light shooting off from it in all directions was quite attractive.  Of course, I also like the reds and they are how I found it.  I was driving down Silver Bluff and noticed a large collection of bright red near the entrance to a medical building.  Upon closer inspection, I discovered some very nice flowers – something that I hadn’t expected in the fall.  The high level of detail allows individual pieces of pollen and surface texture to be seen.

 

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Abstract Confederate Rose In Aiken, SC

Confederate Rose

Macro abstract Confederate Rose in Aiken, South Carolina
Confederate Rose

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The shapes, colors, and lines in my Confederate Rose composition are the result of zooming in so close to this flower that its normal characteristics have been removed.  I love being able to take what looks like a typical flower from a distance and reduce it down into its essence.  Using just these visual properties, you may be hard pressed to identify it, know what it is, or for that matter, distinguish it from something that only existed as an artist’s rendition.  Such is the ability, power, and beauty of a macro rig.  Rest assured that this is a naturally occurring entity and the effect has not been helped or boosted by electronic means (e.g., Photoshop).  In fact, it was blooming on one side of my house.  Its brightly colored discs have an otherworld quality and, thanks to the extremely shallow depth of field, they seem to be floating.  The high level of detail allows individual pieces of pollen and hairs to be seen.

 

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Hibiscus In Aiken, SC

Stigma Discs

Macro Hibiscus in Aiken, South Carolina
Stigma Discs

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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.

 

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