"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

“Oxalis” – Canon 75-300mm Lens & Canon 500D Diopter.

I wanted to take a break yesterday from doing some work on the house, so I went out to “Singing Oakes Gardens” to play a bit, to see how the late cold snap and their garden got along, and to see how Jim and Peg were doing.

This flower is a type of “oxalis”, or “wood sorrel”, that was numerous in numbers growing along side a path by the daylily beds. (Thanks Andre for the ID)
The clumps were around 6″inches or so in height, with the 1/2″ inch size flowers sitting atop those beautiful mounds of foliage.
I got down on the ground with the Canon 75-300mm lens, the 500D diopter, did my “cram it” dance while moving and zooming with the lens, … and had some fun.

I used 2 white reflectors, basically laying them on the ground to reflect some light into the clumps.
Then in the final piece and simply for some balance, I used a touch of the “shadow/highlight” tool in Photoshop CS to lighten the stem up. The stem seemed to be a bit to bold and dark, so the S-H tool was the perfect tool to help give the entire image the balance needed.

“Oxalis” – Wood Sorrel
© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

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April 29, 2007 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 | , , , , , | 15 Comments

Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly & Lotus Flower. “In Their World” Series.

Not much to write about today, … because I can’t seem to wake myself up!
Created this shot at the “Clemson Sandhills Research & Education Center” in the Columbia area of South Carolina.

Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly & Lotus Flower
“In Their World” Series
© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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Thanks for looking everyone!

April 27, 2007 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, dragonfly, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 14 Comments

“Daylily Stamens” – (Hemerocallis) – Macro

“Daylily Stamens”
(Hemerocallis)
© 2006 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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If there is one flower that I can always count on to give me something interesting, whether it simply be the flower itself or a visitor within, .. it is the daylily. (Hemerocallis)

With almost any flower, those that are fresh looking in appearance that has yet to be hit with a blazing sun or has not been invaded by winged insects usually gives the best results.
This particular daylily here has always given me something that appeals to me.
It is a pale lemon yellow daylily in color, and unlike many daylilies where the pistil & stamens are sometimes a bit deeper color yellow than the flower it is sitting in, … these stamens remain the same color as the petals of the flower. A fairly nice blend.
Then with this particular flower, those “pollen sacks” that I like to call them, will not open up very early like some varieties will, and at 10:00am they are still fresh looking and do not have the pollen scattered all over the place. They have just opened!
Another plus, is that these stamen heads have a much richer black to them that shows up so well, giving a wonderful contrasting “pop” when photographed in good light.

Find a daylily, and you will find many chances to capture some wonderful compositions, … and at times, … those little visitors that sneak around within.

Canon 100mm macro & 2x teleconverter
Tripod, macro slider, 2 plamps, reflectors
0.8 sec. @ f32
ISO 200

Thanks for looking gang!
Michael Brown

(This post does not have the original “Blogger” comments, as they would not automatically transfer when the move was made to “WordPress”.)

“Macro Art In Nature”

April 25, 2007 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, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop | , , , , , | 17 Comments

A New Macro Photography Method Has Been Discovered!

Everyone hold onto your hats for this one!
Now, this method is quite difficult. I am sorry for not being able to come up with something simple and easy to do.
It requires years of practice, patience, … and a certain amount of quantum physics.
And now that I have scared most of you away because of the quantum physics part, for the rest of you, I will now get to the meat of this method.

I have named this method, the “Don’t Focus It” method! : )
It involves not focusing on your subject, but focusing just a touch in the front or behind the subject.

LoL!
Actually, … this is another method that has been used for years, but it seems that many will not even attempt it anymore, relying on many of the other methods.
I will often focus in front of the subject, which of course will make the subject out of focus but will give the background a much better blur than it would if I focused slightly behind the main subject.

“Japanese Maple Tree” – Abstract
© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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This piece is almost as I had seen it through the viewfinder.
I took this shot late in the day using my “cram it” method and the Canon 75-300mm lens plus the Canon 500D diopter attached, … shooting wide open.
Everywhere I looked while sitting within that tree, there was a beautiful golden glow in the background no matter which way I turned or what I focused my attention and lens on.
This is a very cool way of playing, of learning something about composition, learning about lighting late in the day, and I guess you could say, … learning something about yourself as well.

For the final image, I took this piece into Photoshop for your normal curves and/or contrast adjustment.
Then, a touch with the shadow/highlight tool to reduce any shadow areas, and for a more even type of blending with the colors and light.
Then for a touch of that dreamy look, I simply used the Orton method at a strength of around 30% or so.
Not everyone’s cup of tea I am sure, … but I enjoy them, and enjoy creating them also.

So, try the “Don’t Focus It” method this season, … a bit more than you have in the past. It is wonderful to use for abstracts.
I am sure that something will evolve out of it for you, and hopefully, something that will inspire!

Everyone take good care of yourself, and thanks for visiting!
Michael

“Macro Art In Nature”

April 21, 2007 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, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop | , , , , , | 21 Comments

“A Daddy’s Thoughts” – The Day After.

It has been 8 years ago today. April 20, 1999.
Tomorrow morning, it will be exactly 8 years ago that I was listening to the gut wrenching news about the Columbine shootings. April 21, 1999.
I looked at my youngest son, and wrote this piece below.
(I thought that I had lost this letter a long time ago, but did not know that it was still sitting on my old computer’s hard drive, and was just discovered this past Tuesday.)

Michael Brown
St. Johns University – Forum
April 21, 1999

“A Daddy’s Thoughts”

It was not anyone else who had put those thoughts in my youngest son’s mind, the thoughts of taking some flowers to his teacher at school.
Mrs. Stegall is Joseph’s teacher. Joseph is 6 years old.
I asked him yesterday why did he want to take her some flowers. He said, “because she is real
nice, and I like her a lot!” So late yesterday I cut some of the Japanese and Louisiana iris for him to take to her. He was amazed at how much bigger looking they were when in a vase, and was thrilled he would be taking her something like that. He truly adores his teacher.
Early this morning, I finished my shower and decided to go and pour me some coffee. I went to the kitchen where I had the flowers sitting on the table, and there sat Joseph with his head laying on the table, eyes open and staring at the flowers.
He looks up at me and says, “My teacher sure is going to like these flowers huh daddy?” I assured him that she would. He put his head back on the table, looking at the flowers, and by the time I finished pouring my coffee, he was back off to sleep.
I left him there for a moment, looking at him with his head somewhat underneath the flowers, and went over to put my hands on his head covered with that beautiful reddish hair he has.
Those few minutes will last a lifetime with me in memory, but just like our
favorite flower, the “daylily”, the moment itself only lasts just that in time. A brief moment!
I rub his hair, thinking about what possessed him to bug me into getting his teacher some flowers for him to take to her.
Then I hear some of the things that are being said on CNN as I stand there over him.
I get tears in my eyes, and wonder what can I do for my sons.
What can we all do? Will daddy be there when the day may come that they really need me. Will I have taught them well enough to do the right thing and be able to maybe take care of themselves and others.
And I pray. God how I pray!

Go out and give some flowers to someone today! Just do it!!

“Blue Flowers”

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

“Macro Art In Nature”

April 20, 2007 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, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography | , , , , , | 10 Comments

“Statice” Flower – For Stunning Macro Abstracts!

“Statice Flower”
(Limonium latifolia)

© 2004 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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Without a doubt, one of the most wonderful flowers to photograph in a abstract form is the Statice flower, or “Limonium latifolia”.

Shooting this with the Canon 100mm macro, an extension tube, and the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens attached in reverse and the use of reflectors allows me to capture a shot with a quick fall off in depth.
I like to focus in right at the crisp looking edges of the flower, then let the rest to become a soft blur.
There are many abstract compositions to be found in the statice flower, and every year I am continually drawn to photograph them again.
This season, why not give them a try? I think that you would enjoy them, as not only are they fun to shoot, … but they are simply beautiful!

If there is one thing that I would like to add to this post, … is this.
This season, and when it comes to anything floral, … try to give your subject some character in your image.
When coming upon your subject for the first time and if you are very much attracted to it, then figure out just what it was that attracted you the most to this flower.
Ask yourself that question, then try to figure out just what you can do to enhance upon those traits that really grabbed your eyes when you first viewed it.
Figure out the true character of the flower, use the tools that you have available to their fullest, and I think that you will find yourself with a lot more keepers in your files.

Just some thoughts! : )

Thanks for looking gang!

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

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April 18, 2007 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop | , , , , , | 30 Comments

“Toadflax” Flower – Using The Canon 500D Diopter.

Here is another image that I took the other day of a “toadflax” flower.
It may be a weed to many, but to me, … pure gold in late evening light!
I believe this flower could easily grow up in the cold artic areas. It grows everywhere here and rarely photographed from what I have seen over the years.
It is a flower that is very thin in nature, almost wire thin looking from a distance, virtually no foliage, yet graceful as it reaches up to the skies.
Looking at the color of the flower itself, it can look a bit dull during those morning hours or anytime during the day.
But in late evening light, minutes before the sun is done for the day, that blue really puts on a show.

© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
Common Blue Toadflax
“Nuttallanthus Canadensis”

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I used the older Canon 75-300mm lens and the Canon 500D diopter for this shot.
Camera mounted on a tripod and low to the ground.
Available light, 1 reflector, Wimberly Plamp
1/250 sec. @ f7.1
ISO 100

The sun was only a minute or two from breaking below the canopy of pine trees, giving off a wonderful golden glow.
It was slightly enhanced when a curves adjustment was made in Photoshop to bring out the blues in the flower, then that glow was toned back down slightly by burning.
The Canon 500D diopter is fun to use, as it will give you a shallow depth of field, and making everything in the distance to become a beautifully blended background.
You can see how quickly the falloff of depth occurs by looking down the stem of the flower, as the head of the flower was leaning ever so slightly into the lens.
The darker areas are either the canopy of trees in the distance, or the ground below.

You can see another image of this flower that was created a couple of years ago, also created in the late evening before the sun went down.
“Shooting In Late Evening Light”

I want to thank everyone who continues to visit here at this journal.
I appreciate the thoughts, the comments, the joking around, and most importantly, the respect that everyone readily gives to one another.

You guys are the best!!!

“Macro Art In Nature”

April 16, 2007 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, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop | , , , , , | 14 Comments

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