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 Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 4

Yonce Lilies: Part 4

 

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

 

 

Macro green daylily and stamen at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Greenery

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I was drawn to the flower in my Greenery piece by the colors and the design the stamen formed.  I liked how the color palette was almost pastel with the darker greens and yellows (especially in the pollen) which is a little different than what I normally see displayed on a daylily.  I also liked how the anthers come together in a tighter group while the filaments sweep into the frame almost randomly from many different directions.  The camera angle I needed for this was a little tricky due to a bright area on the background.  Even though the zone of sharpness is quite shallow, thanks mostly to composing at two times life-size, surface texture can be seen.

 

 

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Macro abstract deep inside daylily at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Connected

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I was attracted to the scene in my Connected piece by the opportunity to use a newly acquired technique from my toolbox.  Recall that I tried a different method of composing daylilies at the Aiken County Historical Museum and wrote about that here.  This flower was an excellent candidate for placing the focal point deep inside of it.  Not only were the colors fantastic, but the petals and stamen helped create a naturally abstract setting simply due to their placement in the frame.  I was absolutely thrilled with what I saw looking at it through my camera’s live view – especially when I did not know how well it would work a priori.  I loved how the stigma and the filaments flow down the frame and then just dissolve into colors and shapes.

 

 

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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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Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 2

Yonce Lilies: Part 2

 

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

 

 

Macro abstract colorful daylily petals and anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Toasty

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I was attracted to the daylily in my Toasty piece by both the colors and the stamen.  My artistic vision was to create another naturally abstract composition by concentrating the focus on the anthers while filling the rest of the frame with the gorgeous background colors.  I really liked the tone of the anthers.  In my mind’s eye, they had the appearance of something that had been toasted (especially around the edges).  Composing at two times life-size ensured that the background details would dissolve down into simple colors.  In fact, very little details remained even in the foreground filaments due to such a shallow depth of field.  That said, within the zone of sharpness, surface texture, dew drops, and pollen can be seen.

 

 

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Macro dark daylily anthers at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Black Anthers

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I was attracted to the scene in my Black Anthers piece by the color of the anthers.  The darker purples and blacks were quite enticing especially when paired with the complimentary colors in the background.  I have to admit that the gorgeous reds in the filaments added to the excitement level as well.  I also liked the tighter grouping and design that the anthers were in, and having one by itself, with the ability to hold details, made selecting the focal point an easy choice.  I didn’t intentionally position them in the frame using any rule of thirds lines, but the rightmost one third line runs up through the anther I focused on, and the bottom, rightmost crossing line is near the point where the filament connects to it.  The high level of detail allows surface texture and individual pieces of pollen to be seen.

 

 

Macro daylily anthers and chicken fat at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Acclamation

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I had several artistic goals for my Acclamation piece.  The first, and most obvious for an admitted color junkie, was to utilize the exquisite background colors.  I felt that the transitions from the greens to yellows to oranges to reds and finally to pinks was spectacular, and capturing that was my first priority.  Secondly, I liked the chicken fat and the colors in the petals, and I needed to find a way of incorporating them into the frame.  That was resolved by selecting an angle that allowed some of the foreground petal to run along the bottom of the frame while still maintaining as much of the background colors as possible.  My final objective was to focus on the anthers while preserving the rest of my goals.  That too was just a matter of finding the right camera position.  While it did force one of the middleground anthers behind the chicken fat, I was very pleased with the resulting scene.  There was some backlighting coming in from the left-hand side and that lit up the bottoms of the two lower anthers on that side thereby adding additional color and visual interest.  While I didn’t utilize any rule of thirds during the positioning, some of the crossing lines are on desirable locations.  Within the zone of sharpness, individual pieces of pollen and surface textures are visible.

 

 

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Macro Lilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 1

Yonce Lilies: Part 1

 

It had been two years since I last visited the Yonce Farm.  Those of you that are long term readers may remember my last installment of blog posts from the photographic playgrounds (AKA gardens) Bob and Deloris maintain, but for those of you that haven’t read them, click here for an introduction to this very special place.

In late spring, we went out to the farm and visited with both of them.  I wanted to be sure that Bob remembered me and to see if he had retired from the flower business as he had suggested he might.  Though Deloris had developed some health problems, they were both quite active and engaged.  Bob was working on his antique tractor and Deloris had been tending to her gardens next to the house and putting together pots of various flora to sell at upcoming shows/events that they attend.  We spent a couple of enjoyable hours with them, and the wives had lots to talk about since they both have similar health issues.  Luckily for me, Bob hadn’t retired and when I asked him about that, he said that he had “slowed down”.  After telling me the best time of the year to see their flowers, he, once again, gave me permission to come back any time with unrestricted access to go wherever I felt had a subject worth pointing my camera at.  I don’t know very many people their age (they could be our parents), but I can’t think of anyone in that age group I’d rather be friends with.  I assured them that I would be back.

I made three separate trips out to their farm during the season and created some of my favorite lily compositions.  This is the first of many blog posts covering those visits.

During the two year stretch without any Yonce farm subjects, my artistic tastes evolved a bit.  I found myself being drawn to naturally abstract scenes more and more.  I explained that to Bob my first morning back, and since he has some photography experience, I’m pretty sure he understood it.  He seemed just as enthusiastic about my work as he previously had (regardless of what genre it was in).  After pointing out some of his favorite flowers, he went back to his morning chores.  I know I’ve written about this before, but it can be a bit overwhelming when there is that much beauty and so many opportunities in one place.  I saw desirable compositions everywhere I looked.  In fact, it was very difficult to keep them straight or even remember all of them.  And sometimes I would come back to a subject that I thought was going to be my next creation only to find myself looking at something else that was next to it trying to decide which one I should create.  That is a state of euphoria I wish I could find myself in every time I go out.

 

Macro abstract colorful daylily petals at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Kaleidoscope

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The colors and patterns in my Kaleidoscope piece were irresistible.  My artistic vision was to utilize the brilliant colors to create the feel of looking through the window of a well known children’s toy.  Perhaps due to the arch of the petals, they felt like they could have been rotated into this position in the frame.  There is a little bit of visible surface texture within the zone of sharpness, but by composing at two times life-size, not much detail remained.  I really liked the dew covered spider webs along the lower righthand side, but I have to admit, I didn’t know that they were on the flower until I got home and examined the image on a much larger scale.  I love those little serendipitous surprises like that (especially when they add visual interest).

 

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

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I was attracted to the flower in my Anther Cluster piece by both the pattern that the anthers formed and by the gorgeous background colors.  My artistic vision was to dissolve the background details away and concentrate the focus on the anthers so that they were enhanced by having simple colors surround them.  Even the filaments have a limited amount of detail and mostly consist of colors and shapes.  However, within the zone of sharpness individual dew drops and surface texture can be seen.

 

Macro abstract twisted daylily petal at Yonce Farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Rainbow Tornado

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The scene in my Rainbow Tornado piece was enhanced by being backlit.  In addition to that, I was absolutely thrilled with the shape of the petal and the color palette.  In my mind’s eye, I immediately thought that it looked like a tornado with a rainbow of colors dropping down into the frame as it spins and twists.  Discovering naturally abstract compositions like this is why I love the abstract genre so much.  For me, this is simply fantastic and very cool.  I loved how the backlighting brought an orange glow to the outer edge of the petal and within the drops of dew along the fold of the twirl.  The high level of detail allows individual dew drops to be seen along the upper petal edges.

 

 

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Daylilies At Yonce Farm In Ridge Spring, SC: Part 4

Yonce Daylilies

Part 4 is a continuation of the Yonce Daylilies blog posts and the final installment.  To see works from or read The Artist’s Story for Part 3, click here.

 

As I spent the morning composing the pieces presented in this series of posts, Bob continued on with his chores.  Folks were stopping in to walk around and select the plants they wanted to buy and he would spend time with them answering their questions, gathering their wares, and completing transactions.  At one point, Bob asked if it would be OK if he watered some of his flowers.  Now, just to set this scene, here I am – a non-paying guest grateful to have been allowed on the premises – with an entire field of subjects to pick from and he’s asking me if it would be alright if he turned the sprinklers on in an area that I wasn’t even in.  To me, that is the epitome of being considerate and just another reason why I can say from the heart what kind people I feel they are.  I wouldn’t have put up a fuss or any kind of argument even if it meant that I had to pack up and go home.  I told him to do whatever he needed and assured him that water can create fantastic conditions and that I considered the drops to be like jewelry that sparkle and add visual interest.

 

I had stayed out of the area that he watered since I didn’t want to kneel in a potentially muddy spot and I had plenty of other subjects to pick from.  But as it was nearing the time that I had to go, I decided to do a quick check before packing up.  That turned out to be a very good decision.

 

Macro wet Daylilly at Yonce farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina
Jewelry

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Jewelry is another one of those pieces where I had the feeling it could be something special before even reviewing it in the camera.  After processing the RAW file, it immediately became one of my personal favorites, and I feel that this composition, by itself, made the trip out there worthwhile and successful.  If there had been a contest that day for the best looking daylily, I would have selected this one as the winner.  For me, this is eye candy because: the colors are stunning, the stamen and anthers are bold and attractive, the center highlights have a sunstar-like quality, and the water drops are icing on the cake.  The high level of detail allows surface textures and reflections in the water drops to be seen.

 

I hope to return soon to create more works from the Yonce farm, but Bob did give an indication that he might retire from the flower business.  I don’t know what that will mean for his wonderful fields of blooming art, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will maintain some kind of garden.

 

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