Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 9

Yonce Lilies: Part 9

 

Part 9 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 8, click here.

 

 

Macro daylily with triangular petal design at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Triangular

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The unique triangle pattern on the petals in the background attracted me to the daylily in my Triangular piece.  I had never previously seen that type of a design on any lily.  With all of the pollen on the anthers, filaments, stigma, and petals it has a more disordered feel than most of my work, but that’s a good thing because it helps offset any implied precision brought in through the geometric shape.  While I placed the focal point on the anthers and they are in front of the petals, a good amount of detail remained in the background.  For example, veins are visible in the petals.  By using a magnification greater than life-size but less than two times that level, the background was able to retain some of its features and it didn’t dissolve down into simple shapes and colors.  The high level of captured detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.

 

 

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Macro abstract daylily stamen and anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Dreamy Anthers

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As is usually the case, the colors of the flower in Dreamy Anthers brought me over to this scene.  While reviewing angles and placement, I quickly realized that the distances between the foreground and background anthers exceeded the depth available in the zone of sharpness.  In fact, even the detail in the middleground anther quickly dissipated.  Since the background itself had dissolved down into shapes and colors, my artistic vision was to add to my Naturally Abstract collection by placing the focal point on the front, leftmost anther.  That created a dream-like effect on the remaining anthers by progressively fading their attributes away.  Since the filaments have a tone similar to that of the background, they tended to blend in with it.  I also liked the rays of light feeling produced by the background shapes on the petals as they appear to be streaming out and away from the anthers.  Though the depth of field is quite shallow, individual pieces of pollen and surface texture are visible.

 

 

Macro abstract daylily anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Ascending

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I was attracted to the flower in my Ascending piece by the group of anthers in this setting.  As I found them to be quite aesthetically pleasing, my artistic vision was to feature the anthers up close and personal.  Of course, as I’ve previously written, when composing at two times life-size, the depth of field is incredibly shallow.  Luckily, there was just enough difference in the yellows of the pollen to maintain edge distinction on most of the anthers.  That being said, the attractive orange and brown tones just inside the pollen lines increase the apparent edge depth a bit more.  Due to the very shallow zone of sharpness, details quickly faded and some merging took place.  For example, a couple of the filaments have the appearance of being combined and their colors are close to those found in the background.  Which is a desirable effect since it allows the focus to be on the anthers.  Within the zone of sharpness, surface texture and individual pieces of pollen (two different types) can 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 Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 7

Yonce Lilies: Part 7

 

Part 7 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 6, click here.

 

 

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

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I was attracted to the daylily in my Discovery piece by the layout of the stamens and the fact that no stigma was interfering with them or visible in the frame.  From an aesthetic perspective, I felt that they worked well in a horizontal orientation.  Which, oddly enough, seems to be rare for the daylilies in my galleries.  That is, I create significantly more that have been vertically framed.  I haven’t really thought much about why that is, but for some reason my eye is generally more pleased with verticals.  And, while I normally at least look at (if not capture) both a vertical along with a horizontal (or vice versa), with daylilies, rotating the camera around just doesn’t seem to produce artistically satisfying compositions.  I didn’t intentionally use any rules of thirds when composing this, however, the foreground anther on the left-hand side is very near the leftmost crossing line.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.

 

 

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

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My artistic intent for Divergent was to create a little different look.  I specifically composed this piece so that the anther group was high and to the right in the frame.  Artistically, my vision was to provide plenty of room for the petals with their chicken fat to come up into the composition and act as path that leads to the center of the flower thereby serving as a starting point for the desired flow.  From the center, the filaments sweep up and out of the center to the anthers where the upper petals bring the eye right back around the outside to start the journey across the flower all over again.  Surface texture and pieces of pollen are visible here as well.

 

 

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Macro abstract torch lily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Illuminated

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I found the torch lily in my Illuminated piece between garden areas at the Yonce farm.  There were only two of them, but they looked really good, appeared to be fairly fresh, and had gorgeous colors.  My artistic vision was to create another composition for my Naturally Abstract gallery by focusing on the tube-like structures.  An important aspect for me was to have good sharpness (at least as good as I could get) from top to bottom.  Achieving that required aligning the camera’s sensor with the focal plane of the tubes.  Something that can be technically challenging, but it will make a huge difference in your own work because it maximizes the zone of sharpness.  And when you are working with a very shallow depth of field, getting as much as possible matters even more.

 

 

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Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 6

Yonce Lilies: Part 6

 

Part 6 is a continuation of the Yonce Lilies blog posts.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 5, click here.

 

 

Macro abstract orange canna lily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Orange Canna

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I was attracted to the canna lily in my Orange Canna piece by the hues.  In fact, they called to me from all the way across the width of the farm’s largest garden.  I simply had to determine what type of flower had such gorgeous orange and yellow tones.  I was surprised to learn that it was a canna lily since I had not previously seen one clad in those colors.  My artistic vision was to concentrate on the stigma while capturing all of the curves, arcs, and lines, and I felt that doing so would ensure that I could add another subject to my Naturally Abstract gallery.  Even though the morning sun was providing nice front lighting, it was a bit too harsh.  So, I used a diffuser to level it out and remove the hard shadows.  The high level of detail allows surface texture and pieces of pollen to be seen.

 

 

Macro abstract canna leaf at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Canna Waves

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My excitement level shot off the scale upon seeing the abstract pattern and colors in this canna lily leaf.  For my Canna Waves piece, I tried to capture as much of that initial scene as I could get.  Though not all of the backlighting remained, I was fortunate to be quick enough to utilize some of it for this composition.  I would have needed to be stationed in front of the leaf with everything perfect and ready to go before the sun reached its sweet spot in order to catch what I originally witnessed.  Most folks don’t realize how fast the sun changes, but for photographers that have waited for the right light during a rising or setting, we know full well just how ephemeral it is.  I was only able to create a couple of images before it was completely gone from this setting.  Mother Nature did give me a little bonus dew drop though.

 

 

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Macro daylily center at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Irresistible

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I liked the yellows and greens on the daylily in my Irresistible piece.  I also liked the area of chicken fat along the petal edge.  Something, perhaps some type of bug, has taken a bite out of one of the front anthers on its left-hand side.  I don’t mind having imperfect subjects every now and then especially if it makes them more interesting.  In this case, it made me wonder what would do that.  I guess it didn’t taste all that good since the missing portion isn’t very big.  Surface texture and individual pieces of pollen 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 5

Yonce Lilies: Part 5

 

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

 

Macro abstract pink canna lily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Twisted Wing

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While the majority of flowers at the Yonce farm are daylilies, they have other photographically worthy subjects.  One example of that is their canna lilies.  I was attracted to the flower in my Twisted Wing piece by the colors and its naturally abstract feel.  The only place I’ve ever seen a pink canna lily is in their gardens, which piqued my interest all by itself.  Perhaps because it is twisted and rolled over, the design on the left-hand side of the stamen is very different from the ribbed lines on the right.  That being said, they work quite nicely together and help solidify the overall abstract quality.  Even with a very shallow depth of field, individual dew drops and pieces of pollen are visible.

 

 

Macro abstract canna lily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Ejected

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The colors and abstract pattern of shapes on the canna lily in my Ejected piece were irresistible.  In my mind’s eye, their splattered appearance made it feel like the splotches had been sprayed up and out of the center, and they became elongated while dripping or running down the petals.  My aesthetic goal was to find an angle that allowed the center stalk-like part (perhaps the stigma) to coalesce with the splashes and petals while creating a visual flow that encompassed it.  Thanks to the high level of detail, dew and individual pieces of pollen can be seen.

 

 

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Macro pastel daylily center at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Accentuated

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I was attracted to the design in the petals of the daylily in my Accentuated piece.  The dramatic lines are obvious above the anthers, but they actually nearly surround the stamens.  In my mind’s eye, it was almost as if the anthers were so brilliant that they were causing rays of light to shoot out in all directions around them.  My aesthetic goal was to enhance the starburst-like effect by placing the stamen group lower in the frame.  The depth of field is a little deeper here since this was composed at slightly less than two times life-size.  The high level of detail allows surface texture to be seen on the anthers.

 

 

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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 Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC: Part 2

Museum Lilies: Part 2

 

Part 2 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 1, click here.

 

 

Macro crisscrossed lily anthers at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Crisscrossed

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I was attracted to the scene in my Crisscrossed piece by the design the group of anthers formed.  The unique V-shape of the lowest two anthers caught my attention immediately because it was something that I had never seen before.  My artistic vision was to place the anthers in the frame with the V being near the bottom and the remaining anthers coming up and into it above them.  Once again, by concentrating on the stamen while composing at two times life-size, the shallow depth of field turned the background into simple colors and shapes.  While I didn’t intentionally utilize the rule of thirds when framing this, the rightmost one third line cuts through both sets of the anthers that cross each other (at the top and the bottom).  Surface textures and individual pieces of pollen can be seen thanks to the high level of captured detail.

 

 

Macro lily stamen in fiery setting at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Heat Seekers

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I liked how the anthers were clustered into a tight group in my Heat Seekers piece and felt that they would work well framed vertically.  My artistic vision was to place the anthers nearly centered just slightly above the hottest, most intense area of background colors.  In my mind’s eye, the stamen looked like they were gathered around and soaking in the warmth of a fire.  While the depth of field was fairly shallow, pollen and surface textures are still visible.

 

 

Macro Starburst Red lily at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Starburst Red

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The colors of the daylily in my Starburst Red piece drew me right over to where a group of these flowers had been planted.  While searching for the best composition, I noticed a small sign that was stuck in the ground identifying it as a starburst red daylily (hence the name).  My artistic vision was to capture the flaming bowl the stigma and stamen were coming out of as they make their way up into the frame while arching away from and rising above the intense heat at the core of the flower.  Surface textures and pollen can be seen here as well.

 

 

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Macro Flowers At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Potted

 

Macro flowers at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Potted

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The main reflecting pool (i.e., the largest one with the water fountains in it) in Hopeland Gardens has flowerpots at each corner of the rectangular shaped pond.  I’ve written a previous post about how the grounds keepers usually have some type of flowers or flora display in them, which is why I normally make my way to that area each time I’m on site searching for subjects.  The bright flowers in Potted caught my attention as I wound around one of the flowerpots.  My artistic goal was to fill the frame with as many flowers as I could while being close enough to capture the patterns in their throats and pollen swollen anthers.  Additionally, I wanted the background to be as dark as it could be so that the flowers would pop against it.  To find a suitable scene took a couple of passes around each of the flowerpots before returning to the one that initially caught my eye.  I then had to locate a group where the flowers were closely crowded together and experiment with various framings until I found one that I desired.  I focused on the stigma and anthers of the flower in the lower left-hand corner of the frame and got lucky that the distance to the camera’s sensor was nearly identical to the flower in the upper right-hand side.  Which allowed both of the flower’s throat areas to fall within the zone of sharpness.  The high level of detail allows texture and tiny hairs to be seen.

 

 

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Macro Gladiolus At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC

Hopeland Gardens Gladiolus

 

Sometimes you just have to give nature some help, which was the case the morning I composed the pieces in this post.  While surveying the area where I had found one years ago, I discovered two gladiolus plants next to each other that were lying flat on the ground.  They were both dead to the world and did not have the ability to stand on their own.  I have no idea what happened to them though an animal may have knocked them over, or perhaps it was the wind, or maybe their blossoms just got too heavy to hold up.  At any rate, it seemed like a real shame to have that much beauty going to waste.  One stalk was fairly tore up and the flowers were not in good shape at all, and the second had a couple of pretty decent looking blooms as well as others that were being overrun by ants.  I picked up the better of the two so that I could examine the flowers a bit closer.  After I felt that a composition existed, I tried to get it balanced or propped up high enough to where I could comfortably get my lens on it, but that didn’t work – it just fell right back down again.  So I got my plamp out and, after cleaning as many of the ants off from it as I could, I connected one of the clamps so that it would keep the plant from falling over.

 

 

Macro Gladiolus at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Reincarnated

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After effectively bringing the plant back to life, I searched for an artistically pleasing flower.  For my Reincarnated composition, I placed the center stalk of the stigma on the upper, leftmost one third line, using the rule of thirds.  Then while keeping the stigma at that location in the frame, I maneuvered the camera around to where the anthers had approximately the same amount of space to their respective side.  I focused on the stigma because it felt too prominent against the pink background to ignore.  The extremely shallow depth of field didn’t allow much else to fall into the zone of sharpness, and I wouldn’t argue too much against this being classified as naturally abstract.  However, the uniformity of the filaments, anthers, and stigma stalks (i.e., three, three, and three) helped convince me not to do that.  The high level of detail allows tiny hairs and texture to be seen.

 

 

Macro Gladiolus at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina
Stance

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While scouring the best remaining, ant-free blooms, I found one that I liked.  I decided to move the plamp into a position that would continue supporting the weight of the stalk and hold the flower steadier since the wind had started to pick up as the morning ticked away.  I focused at the top of the stigma here as well and that worked out pretty good considering the angle of the anthers.  I like how they slowly fade away.  I was also pleased with how the filaments blended right into the background of my Stance piece because it creates the illusion that the anthers are floating.  Tiny hairs and texture can be seen here too thanks to the high level of detail.

 

 

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Macro Wandering Jew Petals Form Butterfly Wings At Aiken County Historical Museum In Aiken, SC

Butterfly Wings

 

Macro Wandering Jew petals form butterfly wings at Aiken County Historical Museum in Aiken, South Carolina
Butterfly Wings

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I don’t normally see two wandering Jew flowers growing so close to one another.  In fact, this was the very first time I had ever seen a pair that had petals touching each other, and their proximity caused me to see a familiar pattern in my mind’s eye.  Taken as a whole, the outside petals on both sides appear to create the shape of butterfly wings.  I didn’t want the wings to feel centered in the frame, so I left a little more space above and on the right side of the petals.  That caused the flowers to be placed in the frame where the left flower’s core/center is very near the lower, leftmost crossing line, using the rule of thirds.  With the anthers scattered around in different groups as well as being considerably above the surface of the petals (especially considering the shallow depth of field), I selected the rope-like strands that grow out of the filaments as my focal point.  That aesthetic decision simultaneously forced the anthers to be out of focus and enhanced the surface of the petals including the pollen that had fallen on them.  The high level of detail allows texture, dew drops, and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.

 

 

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