Macros And Abstracts At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 5

Macros And Abstracts: Part 5

 

Part 5 is a continuation of the Macros And Abstracts blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 4, click here.

 

 

Macro daylily with dark petals and fiery center at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Fire Pit

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I loved the dark purples and reds in my Fire Pit piece.  In my mind’s eye, the yellows, oranges, and reds in the center reminded me of fire.  My artistic intent was to place a little bit of the really dark petal as a foreground border with strong flames searing above it while the filaments carry the anthers up through the blaze into the frame.  The little deformation near the lower right-hand corner was perfect because it appears to be some type of glowing ember.  A deflector was used to even out the light across the subject.  Surface texture as well as lots of pollen can be seen.

 

 

Macro daylily stamen and chicken fat at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Singular Beauty

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I found the scene in my Singular Beauty piece quite interesting.  First, it is not often that you are able to isolate a single stamen away from the others and the stigma.  Secondly, the chicken fat coming into the frame from the lower right-hand side had a rather unique shape that added visual interest.  I also appreciated how the curve of the filament is sort of echoed by a vein in the background petal.  Without purposefully trying, the anther is essentially bisected by the left most one third line (using the rule of thirds).  These days I do, on occasion, specifically align things, but many times, while composing, my artistic desires just naturally utilize lines from the rule of thirds.  Tiny pieces of pollen can be seen here as well thanks to the high level of captured detail.

 

 

To see related pieces, click here.

 

 

Abstract macro daylily petal surface wrinkles at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Wrinkled

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I was attracted to the textured features on the petal of the daylily in my Wrinkled piece.  I loved the pleating, scrunched look and the dark orange and brown earth tones combined with the nicely contrasting bright yellows.  As the petal’s rib nicely divided the naturally abstract patterns on the surface, I made the artistic decision to place the ridge on a diagonal that arcs up and out of the lower right-hand side corner.  I subsequently used the furrow as my focal point.  A deflector was used here as well to even out the light and allow more detail to be seen.

 

 

Abstract macro canna lily parts twist and curl at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Ribbon

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The canna lily in my Ribbon piece was another fairly large subject.  Of course, I loved the bold colors, but more than that, I was enamored with the shape of the stamen and its naturally abstract patterns.  In my mind’s eye, the curl of the stamen reminded me of how a ribbon on a present is sometimes formed into a coil to add a touch of artistic flair and a little extra love while wrapping it.  The deflector was utilized here too, which, once again, brings up a concession management topic.  When there is simply too much light on your subject, a deflector is a fantastic tool.  However, additional shutter time will be needed with all other settings being equal (e.g., ISO and F-stop).  Under windy conditions, reducing your available light may not work.  In this case, using my preferred methods, with the last of the golden hour light nearly gone and the wind starting to pick up, patience was the only available tool in the bag.  That and creating lots of images to sift through for the few that were perfectly stable.  Surface textures and tiny pieces of pollen are visible within the frame.

 

 

Abstract macro daylily throat and petals at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Feeling Purple

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I was attracted to the flower in my Feeling Purple piece by the gorgeous purples and greens.  My artistic vision was to position the naturally abstract darker purple inner arc horizontally across the frame.  The most difficult aspect of this was finding and keeping the angle that resulted in the most aesthetically pleasing image.  To pull in the fantastic greens, I needed to look down into the core of the daylily, however, the stamen, and more importantly, the tips of the anthers wanted to creep up into the bottom of the frame.  When you create at more than life size magnification, small amounts of subject movement can greatly affect your composition.  With that in mind, the wind can also be a significant factor as it tends to manipulate your subject’s position (even when using a plamp).  Once you can imagine what you want, keep checking the framing to ensure you’re capturing the desired result.  Continue to reposition the camera as needed to maintain what you envisioned and hope that Mother Nature calms the wind down long enough to capture it (in this case, two and half seconds).  Surface texture can be seen here thanks to the high level of detail.

 

 

To see related pieces, click here.

Macros And Abstracts At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 4

Macros And Abstracts: Part 4

 

Part 4 is a continuation of the Macros And Abstracts blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 3, click here.

 

 

Abstract macro canna lily petal at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Red Rain

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I have always felt that canna lily petals have very nice naturally abstract patterns and shapes on them, and my artistic intent for Red Rain was to find an aesthetically pleasing arrangement of them.  As the petals are curved, finding an area that is flat simply isn’t possible.  Increasing the magnification helps a little because the slope is reduced as the surface area diminishes, but with a higher magnification the depth of field is shallower.  As I’ve written in many previous blog posts, photography is about concession management.  You likely can’t have everything you want, so you must accept the best you can get.

 

 

Abstract macro canna lily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Big Wing

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Some of the canna lilies at the Yonce Farm have very large stamens.  The stamen in my Big Wing piece was almost the size of a petal on the canna lilies I see at Hopeland Gardens.  I’m not sure if they are a specific type of canna lily or Bob’s plants are just really happy with the soil conditions and grow bigger.  At any rate, I loved the naturally abstract patterns of lines and shapes on the stamen as well as the colors.  Individual pieces of pollen are visible too.

 

 

Abstract macro canna lily throat at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Whirl

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Once again, I loved the naturally abstract shapes and patterns on the canna lily in my Whirl piece, but my artistic intent was to create a composition that looked down into the flower.  In my mind’s eye, doing that produced a swirl like effect almost like the shapes were being pulled down a vortex.  Even the design of the stigma adds to that feeling with how it is curved and twisted.  As the flower itself was primarily backlit, I used a diffuser to even the light out and allow a deeper look down into it.

 

 

Abstract macro daylily filaments and petals at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Rise Up

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My artistic vision for the flower in Rise Up was to create an abstract that featured lines.  I used the petals along the bottom to create a border and then placed the filaments and stigma on an angle coming up from the lower right-hand corner into the frame.  Additionally, the ribs and veins in the background originate from the same area and arch up and out into the frame in a similar manner.  As the anthers were beyond the zone of sharpness, they dissolved down into shapes and colors.

 

 

Abstract macro daylily petals at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Petals

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I was attracted to the flower in my Petals piece by the gorgeous purples, but after seeing how nicely the colors of this daylily flowed combined with how the flower’s petals overlapped, I immediately knew that I wanted to create another naturally abstract composition using them.  I placed the left side petal in the frame so that the edge of it weaves its way up diagonally.  I also used the edge as my focal point.  Surface textures can be seen here as well.

 

 

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Macros And Abstracts At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 3

Macros And Abstracts: Part 3

 

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

 

 

Macro daylily stamens resemble arrows at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Quiver

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I was attracted to the flower in my Quiver piece by the gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellows.  My artistic vision was to frame it so that the chicken fat created a bit of a border along the bottom and lower sides.  Additionally, I placed the anthers high enough in the frame to be well above the border.  Even though they are curved, in my mind’s eye, the stamen, with their arrowhead like anther shapes, reminded me of arrows.  Surface textures and tiny individual pieces of pollen can be seen.

 

 

Macro daylily stamens and secondary colored petals at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Secondary Colors

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The greens, oranges, and purples in my Secondary Colors piece were quite appealing.  I also liked the creamy whites.  In fact, I made the artistic decision to frame this daylily so that section of colors had space to run along the top.  Interestingly, this particular variety of flower has filaments that have a section of orange that nearly matches the ring of oranges around the petals.  As an artist (and a confessed color junkie), I find the overall color coordination a nice touch.  For example, it has additional harmonious areas between the tops of the petals and the centers of the anthers.  Finally, the orange pollen contrasts nicely against the very dark outside of the anthers.

 

 

Macro daylily stamens and horizontal anther at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Odd Man Out

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The gorgeous reds in my Odd Man Out piece called me over to this flower.  My artistic vision was to use the foreground petals and the stigma to create a border along the bottom of the frame.  I liked the overlapping petals and how the veins are visible.  I also found the quirky horizontal anther attractive as you don’t see that very often (e.g., I have only seen and captured that on one other occasion).  Surface textures and individual pieces of pollen are visible.

 

 

Macro daylily with multiple stigmas at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Enchanted

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Of course, I loved the bold colors in my Enchanted piece, but I was equally enticed by how the petals unfolded and the pattern they created.  Additionally, the petal ribs and veins form what could loosely be described as leading lines that when followed carry your attention to the stamen and the flower core where it can burst back out and start the loop around the image all over again.  But that wasn’t the most intriguing part of this daylily, it has what appears to be multiple stigmas.  Bob had disappeared (likely to tend to other chores on his farm) or I would have asked him if he knew how one of his flowers could have up to five stigmas.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen that before on a daylily.  Perhaps it is one that he developed.

 

 

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Macros And Abstracts At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 2

Macros And Abstracts: Part 2

 

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

 

 

Macro daylily with gorgeous colors and chicken fat at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Purple Passion

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The stunning colors of the daylily in my Purple Passion piece were impossible to ignore.  If this had been the only composition I was able to create that morning, I still would have felt that the trip had been worth it.  This quickly became one of my all-time favorite daylily images.  For me, there is so much to love about this: the gorgeous purples, magentas, reds, and greens, the pleating on the petals, and how the chicken fat rolls into the frame both near the center and along the bottom.  Pollen and surface textures are easily seen as well.

 

 

Macro daylily stamens with backlit petals at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Sun Kissed

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For my Sun Kissed piece, I tried something that I had never done before with a daylily.  This flower was very backlit by golden hour light with no other lighting source or deflector/reflector use.  That really lit up the oranges and yellows in the background, but it also darkened portions of some anthers and caused others to nearly become silhouetted.  Similarly, that artistic decision created what appears to be a glowing area in the center of the focal point anther and on the pollen that surrounds it.  It was an interesting effect and one that I was determined to utilize.

 

 

Macro daylily stamens group and background at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Unique

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The small stamen in my Unique piece all but forced me to create this composition.  I don’t know why it had a single stamen that was A) so much smaller than the others and B) not with the other group.  It was like an extra stamen or one that somehow had its growth stunted.  I also liked how the anthers were grouped and had formed a triangle shape.  I used an angle that placed the little stamen in the background between the arches of the normal stamens.  I also liked the pink and oranges in the background and the chicken fat.  Individual pieces of pollen and surface textures can be seen here too.

 

 

To see related pieces, click here.

 

 

Abstract macro strange growth on daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Invader

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The naturally abstract qualities of my Invader piece convinced me to create a composition of it.  I’m not exactly sure what this is.  It may have been some type of a fungus that attacked one of the daylilies.  At first glance I thought I was seeing a cool looking spider web with lots of pollen or tiny drops of dew in and on it.  Whatever it was, it appeared to be holding down one of the petals, an anther, and possibly even the stigma while potentially feeding off from its host.  And, it definitely met my interesting criteria for what to point the camera at.  Since it was on a lily, it also came with gorgeous colors.  Very fine, tiny hairs and polyp looking things can be seen thanks to the high level of captured detail.

 

 

Abstract macro deep inside daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Origin

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My Origin piece was a bit of an experiment.  I have created several daylily interior compositions over the years where I attempt to get the focal point as far down into the flower as possible.  That, by itself, creates a naturally abstract result.  However, none of my prior works have had a horizontal orientation.  Here, the filaments (and where they originate from) are the main attraction – especially with their colors and curved shapes.  I also loved how the anthers dissolved down into colors.  Creating this one was fun.

 

 

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Macros And Abstracts At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 1

Macros And Abstracts: Part 1

 

Yonce Farm Sign

 

After having made many trips to their gardens, I could hardly wait for the right time to get back out to the Yonce Farm and create compositions of their lilies.  The conditions during the two trips that I’ll cover in this year’s blog posts were every bit as good as they’ve ever been.  Though Bob suggested that he had not kept the gardens in their prime form and had let a few weeds live longer than he should have, I assured him that I wouldn’t have any problems finding subjects.  With the dearth of potential candidates during outings to both Edisto Memorial Gardens and Swan Lake Iris Gardens this year, it was great to finally have so many possibilities in one area.  As usual, it can be a bit overwhelming because everywhere you look there are gorgeous flowers vying for your attention.  Long term readers of this blog know how fantastic the subjects can be, but for those of you who are new, click here for previous posts of this wonderful place.

 

 

Macro daylily stamens at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Togetherness

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In my mind’s eye, the anthers in my Togetherness piece were lovingly touching each other.  Almost as if they were siblings or puppies bonding while grouped close to each other.  Of course, the colors were also quite attractive.  This is also another example of using a very long exposure time (especially for macro at nearly two times life size magnification).  A full ten seconds was used since the rising sun had just come up and was partially obscured by clouds.  Surface textures, pollen, and tiny dew drops can be seen.

 

 

Macro daylily stamens at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Farm Tan

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I was attracted to the colors of the daylily and the shape of the anthers in my Farm Tan piece.  Though the zone of sharpness is quite shallow here, surface textures are still visible.

 

 

Macro tight group of daylily anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Huddle

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The gorgeous pastel colors brought me over to the flower in my Huddle piece.  I also liked how the anthers were grouped.  The nearly two times life size magnification creates a dreamy feel with such a shallow depth of field.  Surface textures can be seen within the zone of sharpness.

 

 

Macro daylily stamens at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Greenlight

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Two factors focused my attention on the flower in my Greenlight piece.  First, I don’t get many opportunities to compose using a horizontal orientation.  I think that is due to how the stamen are normally grouped together (i.e., they just naturally fit in the frame better vertically).  Secondly, the wonderful greens and fiery reds in the background were quite alluring.  Individual pieces of pollen and surface textures can be seen here as well.

 

 

Macro daylily stamens at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
In The Pink

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I loved the pinks and pastels in the background of my In The Pink piece.  Also enticing was how the petals were ribbed, and the design created by the tight grouping of the anthers.  Once again, surface textures and individual pieces of pollen can be seen.

 

 

To see related pieces, click here.

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.

 

 

To see related pieces click here.

 

 

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.

 

 

To see related pieces click here

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.

 

 

To see related pieces click here.

 

 

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.

 

 

To see related pieces click here

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 new 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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