"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

The Normally Unseen Views In Nature Photography.

“Camelia Stamens”
© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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Some of you may remember the other images already posted within this blog of the camelia stamens, and this is another example of those unseen views in nature.
I do enjoy seeing and photographing something in its early stages, and with the camelia blooms, a individual can take a young bud that is a week or two from opening and slowly peel the young fresh petals away until you get closer to the center of the bud, exposing the stamens.
The stamens and petals look so fresh and clean, and many times you can find a composition with a somewhat sculpted look.
Composition, rich colors, details, a feel of freshness in a normally unseen world, ….. I love it!

Canon 100mm macro, & Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens attached in reverse.
Tripod, macro slider, available light and 3 reflectors
4 sec. @ f32
ISO 100

Thanks for looking everyone!

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February 23, 2006 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hemerocallis, hiking, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop | , , , , , | 24 Comments

In Photography, Have You Been There, ….. Done That?

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

Have you been there, … done that? Have you shot numerous photos of the same subject, over and over again to the point that you think you have the best that you can achieve with it, maybe never to get anything better?
I still grow and hybridize daylilies (hemerocallis), and each and every year I find myself drawn to them with camera in hand.
Hundreds of images are in my files of daylilies, and one would think that “enough is enough”.
But, every year and every single day that I go outside in the garden during daylily bloom time, there is something different to be found with the daylilies and many other flowers in the garden too.
It always seems that I come up with a new or different shot of something that appeals to me more than what I already have of it in my files.
Maybe it is a combination or overall composition and perfect lighting that captures my attention like it never has before, or the lighting and a unusual angle with select details like I have never seen in all my years of shooting, or a little critter being spotlighted by the dappled lighting on the daylily petal, or ….

In the world of flora and macro shooting, that world is constantly changing.
If you took a small piece of land with flowers, trees, grasses, insects, and so on, ….. in a macro sense, you probably could never see it all in a hundred lifetimes!

So, don’t think that you have seen it all and already have that great shot of it.
You haven’t, … because you have not seen it all, … or have you?
The best is yet to come, .. maybe! Who knows?
For me, … it is what keeps me going, and creating.

Think about it!

Thanks for looking everyone!

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

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February 21, 2006 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hemerocallis, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop | , , , , , | 18 Comments

Nature’s Dragonflies, And Understanding Them!

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

First of all, I am certainly no expert with dragonflies! I do read about certain subjects that I would like to persue, and simply try to understand them and how they may act or react out in nature in my presence. Makes getting some appealing images of them that much easier!

There are many subjects in the insect world that do not get around that well when they are wet.
Soon after the sprinklers went off one morning in the garden, coupled with a heavy downpour of rain that the weatherman swore we would not get, I decided to grab the camera and head outside to see what I could find.
Sitting among the beautiful “baptisia” blooms was a Taper-tailed Darner – (Gomphaeschna antilope) dragonfly.
He sat there, never moving as I photographed him using available light.
A couple of hours later after the air dryed, he was off.
There are many insects that will allow you to get extremely close to them because of the morning dew or rain that may be on their bodies, so grab those cameras early in the morning or right after a good soaking rain, … and have yourself some fun.
Easy shooting!

This little guy and other dragonflies often will return to the same perch, time and time again. That is one of the benefits of learning something about them.
Some will return to the same perch after flying off, some will remain low to the ground, some like it in the bushes, some like it over the water on the same perch, and some simply fly all over the place!
This dragonfly is a Blue Dasher Dragonfly – “Pachydiplax longipennis”, sitting on a perch that I had placed at the back porch/patio.
Almost every single day and especially when it was sunny, one of these little beauties would be there.
My youngest son has grown to love them, and often times will sneak a lens that suits his needs just to have a bit of fun with them. He has become quite a accomplished little photographer, and yes, he has studied these little guy’s behavior as well.

They are plentiful every season, so this year, learn something about them and what type of environment they prefer, and have a bit of fun with them!

Thanks for looking gang!

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

February 20, 2006 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, dragonflies, dragonfly, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, odonata, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 22 Comments

Light And Composition Equals Images With Impact!

© 2004 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
In the years that I have been shooting out in nature, and especially in macro, this image is without a doubt one of my favorites for various reasons and I will explain one or two of those reasons why.

This image I call my “swamp flower”, since I do not know the name of it and the image was taken at the Congaree Swamp National Park here in South Carolina.
I was going through my often used “belly crawl” out in the swamp, when I came upon this very small and beautiful little flower, sitting out and away from the other flowers that were the same.
It was sitting beneath a very high canopy of cypress trees that provided dappled shading/light and only about 6 inches off the ground.
The winds that day were howling in the top of those cypress trees one moment, then dipping down at ground level, picking up debris and slinging it about. Then, there would be moments of absolute calm.
I could see that a shot of this flower at a very low perspective would be difficult, giving the hair thin stem it was sitting on and those winds. Adding the Wimberly Plamp to it was virtually useless.
Using a tripod or a beanbag proved to be a pain also, as that little flower simply could or would not sit still and would quickly vanish from the frame within.

So, … what did I do, and what attracted me to this flower in the first place?

Searching these little flowers at ground level while looking through the viewfinder quickly showed me that they possesed a wonderfully artistic flow in their design. A somewhat overwhelming appeal comes upon me as I look at them while using the lens set wide open, and of course, a very shallow depth of field.
I then added the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens in reverse to the Canon 100mm macro, just to see what the flower looked like then. “Touchdown”!
It gave me the overall feeling of softness that I wanted to capture, but it was the light that changed while adding that lens in reverse that really grabbed me. It became more soft, more blurred, more evenly distributed in the image.
Now that I had the right combination of lenses, and a very shallow depth of field, how in the world was I going to capture anything with that setup and the high winds?
Tripod low to the ground, or a beanbag with a tiny flower that would not sit still for me. Just how was I to do it?
Well, … I was after a soft look anyway, so why not handhold the camera instead I thought!
It would have been a challenge if I was wanting something that contained details in the flower, so shooting this way worked very well for what I was after.

What captured my attention though, more than anything else, was the lighting that was continually changing within the flower and its surroundings.
Those winds were moving the canopy of trees back and forth, giving me a different lighting setup just about every single second.
I spread out and dug my elbows into the ground, almost putting my chin into the ground and bending my neck about as far as it would go. I let the winds play as they may. I did use one reflector attached to the plamp to help block some of that wind.
All I wanted to do now was to get the flower in the frame and in a pleasing composition, and not to worry about details in the flower.

So, … it was the light that had me shooting over 1GB of images of just this one little flower.
Constantly changing light, with those variations of light on the flower and/or background every second was a challenge, … but ultimately, very rewarding.

Good lighting and composition many times will give you that one image that has “impact”, and is the type of image you should always strive for.
This type of image may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is what appeals to me and what keeps me exploring the varying light and artistic compositions in the world of nature, and in macro!

Canon 100mm macro and Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens attached in reverse
Handheld & available light, plus a reflector to control wind
1/125 sec. @ f2.8
ISO 100

Thanks for looking everyone!

February 15, 2006 Posted by | abstract, art, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop | , , , , , | 12 Comments

The “Stick Drill” – Compositions & Funky Crops

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

“Hydrangea”

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When I am in need of a tune up, something to get those braincells churning and operating like they should before I go out shooting, many times I will simply go outside and do my “stick drill”.
This is nothing more than getting in a area where there are a lot of sticks of varying shapes and sizes, putting my eye up to the viewfinder, and start to follow some of the sticks with my eyes and while moving the camera/lens.

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

“Stick & Leaf – Abstract”

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I will often look at how those sticks will become compositions, how they move in and out of the frame, how the depth is working, the light, … all comes into play with my “stick drill”.
Now many times, while this is nothing more than a drill of mine that I do just to get my mind going in the right direction, sometimes I am really getting into it and then soon discover some views that are a bit different, … then I starting shooting.
I do love some of those “funky crops”, and often ask myself how would most photographers shoot this? When I have what I think is the answer to that question, then I will shoot the exact opposite. I just like being different!

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

“Spent Blades Of Grass”

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So anyway, if you ever find yourself simply wanting to get that mind set for a day of creativity, … give yourself 10 minutes with some sticks. Find those interesting lines, compositions, depths, textures, … and while you are just practicing a bit, you may find some fun images to play with.
Have fun creating gang!

February 8, 2006 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography | , , , , , | 19 Comments

   

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