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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Abstract Macros At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC: Part 2

Museum Abstracts: Part 2

 

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

 

 

Abstract macro weed head forms star shape at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Weed Star

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I found the flora in my Weed Star piece in the front garden of the museum not that far from where I normally park.  The naturally abstract design of the leaves on the head was simply irresistible.  I placed it in the frame so that the lower one third line (using the rule of thirds) cut through the core of the star formation.  That artistic decision also allows the leaves to expand up and out in a similar pattern.  Tiny hairs along the leaf edges can easily be seen.

 

 

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Macro Flowers At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Museum Flowers

 

Macro flower stamen at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
White Anther

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I was attracted to the flower in my White Anther piece specifically because of the anthers.  I discovered a couple of the flowers in the big, back garden at the museum, and I don’t recall ever seeing a flower there (or anywhere else for that matter) with white anthers that looked like these.  Interestingly, some of the flowers on the same plant had black anthers though it’s possible that they were desiccated and/or dying.  I also found the overall color scheme, with the pinks and greens, attractive.  This was composed at two times life-size magnification which means that the depth of field is quite shallow.  Even with that, individual pieces of pollen can be seen.

 

 

Macro flower stamens at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Pastel Dream

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The curved shapes of the filaments in my Pastel Dream piece initially got my attention, but I also liked how the anthers fit within the frame.  This was composed at nearly two times life size magnification which helped to produce the dreamy feel since the focal point is on the front anther and the rest of the flower parts quickly exit the zone of sharpness.  Individual pieces of pollen are visible here as well.

 

 

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Macro Flower At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Encircled

 

Macro flower center at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Encircled

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On my way through Hopeland Gardens, I noticed some nice colors just outside the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall and Museum.  So, I wandered over there to investigate and discovered plenty of flowers that had been planted since my last outing.  I searched through most of them before deciding to work the flower in my Encircled piece.  I placed the center of the flower in the frame where the left most one third line (using the rule of thirds) cuts right through the middle of it.  I love that there is a row of open florets going around the outside of the center and the high level of detail.  Tiny hairs (both coming off the center of the flower and on the petals) as well as dew drops can be seen.

 

 

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Floral Macros At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Museum Floral Macros

 

Macro daylily anthers at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Daylily Anthers

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My Daylily Anthers piece was composed at two times life-size magnification.  In addition to the artistic satisfaction factor, I created it to establish what could be called a baseline.  That is, what my normal rig is capable of producing.  I recently purchased a Canon 500D Close-up Lens that can be added to my current rig to get close to three times life-size magnification.  Being at that level crosses over into an area known as extreme macro.  It creates a bit of a Frankenstein lens, but it was less expensive than going to something like an MP-E 65, and my hope was that I could sort of get my feet wet in extreme macro while using something that I was fairly comfortable with.  More from my Frankenstein lens to come…

 

 

Macro daylily stamens at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Stamen Pair

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Stamen Pair was composed with my Frankenstein lens and has a magnification that is more than two times life-size.  With more magnification, the depth of field, which was already razor thin, is reduced even further.  That makes for a wonderful background.  Though the zone of sharpness is really shallow, individual pieces of pollen can still be seen.

 

 

Macro periwinkle shooting star at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Rising Star

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My Rising Star piece was also composed with the Frankenstein lens.  In my mind’s eye, I immediately saw a star shape on the flower that appeared to be ascending.  I placed the center of the periwinkle where the top one third line (using the rule of thirds) cuts through it so that the star itself would be higher in the frame.  Tiny drops of water and individual hairs can be seen.

 

 

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Macro Berry Impaled On Spiked Leaf At Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, SC

Impaled

 

Macro berry impaled on spiked leaf at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Impaled

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Long time readers of this blog are aware of my composition criteria, but for those of you that aren’t, I am always on the lookout for subjects that are interesting or unique.  And my Impaled piece definitely had that going for it.  This story starts with the trees near the arched doorway on the right side of the entrance to the museum that grow a ton of little red berries.  Just below the trees are the plants with the spiked leaves that I previously used in several compositions (for example, here and here).  Apparently, the berries fall off the tree at some point during the winter, and one happened to fall directly on to the tip of a leaf below it.  I love finding serendipitous things like that while searching for subjects.

 

I placed the berry in the frame so that the top one third line (using the rule of thirds) pretty much cuts right through its center.  That artistic decision allowed plenty of room below the berry to see that it is stuck on top of the leaf spike.  I also used a deflector to reduce some of the shine on the berry’s surface.  The high level of detail allows surface textures to be seen.

 

 

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Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 8

Yonce Lilies: Part 8

 

Part 8 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 7, click here.

 

 

Macro daylily stamen at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Stamen Stack

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The colors and patterns in my Stamen Stack are what attracted me to this scene.  My artistic vision was to focus on the anthers and highlight the filaments.  By placing the anthers high in the frame, I accentuated the length of the filaments.  For example, some of them are completely above the top one third line, using the rule of thirds, while the others have only a small portion below it.  To enhance that further, I let them originate outside of the frame and purposefully brought them in using the lower right-hand side corner.  I wanted to include the designs along the petal rims so I established boundaries for how far I could push the stamen group.  Though the depth of field is very shallow, surface texture and individual pieces of pollen are visible.

 

 

Macro daylily stamen and colorful petals at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Heartthrob

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As I had written in a recent post, I don’t see many opportunities to create a horizontally oriented daylily composition.  The alluring colors of the flower in Heartthrob were the most attractive aspect, but I certainly appreciated the ability to add another horizontal piece to my collection.  Further inspiration came from the tight grouping of the anthers, no intruding or visible stigma, and the right to left sweeping arcs of the stamens.  There certainly is a lot of pollen on the anthers, and thanks to the high level of detail, individual pieces of it can be seen along with surface texture.

 

 

Macro daylily stamen and fiery petals at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Fired Up

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I loved the fiery colors and the tight grouping of the anthers in my Fired Up piece.  Those two factors forced me to create this composition.  The whole flower was vibrant and fresh looking, and I really liked the sweeping arcs of the stamens and how the tips of the top anthers come to a sharp point.  The bold colors and tines produce a harder/hotter feel that doesn’t have many rounded or soft areas to calm it down.  I also felt that those characteristics endowed it with an unmistakable amount of intensity and verve which I like.  Surface texture is visible here as well.

 

 

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Macro Abstract Leaf Veins Form Wheel-like Structure At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Vein Wheel

 

Macro abstract leaf veins form wheel like structure at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Vein Wheel

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While making my way around the pond that used to have the dock in it at Hopeland Gardens, I decided to venture down closer to the water.  The shape of the flora in my Vein Wheel piece drew me in to it.  I’m not exactly sure what it is, but it looked like a round leaf.  My artistic vision was to add to my naturally abstract collection by getting close enough to the leaf so that the veins emanate out into it from the center point like the spokes of a wheel.  I placed the center point of the veins very close to the leftmost one third line, using the rule of thirds, so that they could stretch across the frame from an aesthetically pleasing position.  I also loved the greens (especially the darker tones that remind me of jade).  Surface textures and a couple of dew drops are visible thanks to the high level of captured detail.

 

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Macro Lilies At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC: Part 4

Museum Lilies: Part 4

 

Part 4 is a continuation of the Museum Lilies blog posts from the Aiken County Historical Museum.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 3, click here.

 

 

Macro abstract lily anthers appear to float at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Floaters

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I was searching for naturally abstract scenes with patterns that I hadn’t previously captured when I came across the flower in my Floaters piece.  My artistic vision was to compose this in a way that the anthers felt like they were floating.  Two aspects worked in my favor to accomplish that goal.  First, the extremely shallow depth of field when composing at two times life-size.  That alone will dissolve most of the middleground and background details down into simple colors and shapes.  Secondly, the filaments were quite close in color to the background which makes hiding them in plain sight easier.  I’m not sure that it qualifies as being minimalist, but I wouldn’t argue with someone who felt that it did.  Within the zone of sharpness, surface texture and individual pieces of pollen can be seen.

 

 

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Macro lily stamen and stigma at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Swept Up

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I was attracted to the main flower in my Swept Up piece by all of the arcs.  There are actually two flowers in the scene, but they merged together so seamlessly that you can’t really tell.  I loved all of the curves; the petals, stigma, filaments, and anthers are all arched.  From an aesthetic standpoint, my goal was to frame the stigma and stamens using an angle that made them appear to have similar curls.  I also liked how the pollen breaks up the anthers and provides a little more visual interest.  While I didn’t purposefully use any rule of thirds, the top left anther is very close to the upper leftmost one third crossing line.

 

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Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 3

Yonce Lilies: Part 3

 

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

 

 

Macro abstract daylily petal with chicken fat at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Golden Fat

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The flower in my Golden Fat piece had a couple of attributes that were irresistible.  The first was the colors (likely obvious to my longtime readers), and the second was what Bob refers to as chicken fat.  Of course, I loved the purple infused reds, but the golden yellows within the chicken fat were also quite attractive.  My artistic vision was to create a naturally abstract composition by concentrating on the petal’s edge where the chicken fat winds, folds, and twists its way down the frame like a colorful, sparkly serpent.  The high level of detail allows surface texture and dew drops to be seen.

 

 

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Macro horizontal daylily anther and stamen at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Lead Singer

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The anthers in my Lead Singer piece forced me to create it.  While the background colors were fantastic, the horizontal anther demanded my attention – especially since I had never seen one in that orientation before.  In my mind’s eye, I immediately felt that it looked like an open mouth as if it had the ability to sing.  Perhaps it shares some DNA with the singing plant in The Little Shop Of Horrors movie.  I also loved how it was completely covered in pollen.  It’s almost like it is totally out of place since the other anthers only have a single side of genetic material.  I placed the “vocalist” so that the bottom one third line nearly bisects it.  Surface texture and individual pieces of pollen are visible thanks to the high level of captured detail.

 

 

Macro pollen covered daylily anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Pollenizer

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I was attracted to the daylily in my Pollenizer piece by its pollen covered anthers.  The yellows were quite bright especially against the darker anthers and background colors.  Similarly, the dark reds of the filaments added to the overall desirability quotient and are nicely complimentary.  The high level of detail allows surface texture and individual pieces of pollen to be seen here as well.

 

 

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