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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.