"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

In The Field, with Paul Lester.

I pulled up to the International House Of Pancakes yesterday morning, and immediately from that smile he gave, I knew that Paul Lester was tuned in and ready for the day ahead!
Paul is a software developer from Charlotte, North Carolina and a avid nature photographer.
It has been said many times before, that nature photographers are a easy going group of people, and without a doubt, … Paul fits that bill!

We both chowed down, hopped in the cars, and Paul followed me a few miles down the road to the Clemson Sandhill Research & Education Center to start our day of photography.
The recent cool spell in our weather seemed to have put nature on hold just a bit, as I noticed that there were not as many birds, mammals, insects, or even some of the flora seemed to have put on the brakes.
Still, we went on, as nature always has something to show you, and much of it we just had to slow down and tune ourselves into it.

“Paul Lester”


At the Clemson Research Center we managed to see a few dragonflies, butterflies, little odd views in and around the lake area, and Paul managed to get some shots of a cormorant, which payed us virtually no attention whats so ever!
This image below is one that I found in the water along side the edge of the lake. Many wonderful abstracts could be found along the edge of the lake area, and I included this small lotus leaf which was within that thick floating pollen and mixed in with the pine needles and various plant material.
At times, it almost seemed that the pollen was just as thick in the air as it was in the water!

© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

“Floating Lotus Leaf & Pollen”


After a few hours of shooting, I decided to take Paul over to “Singing Oaks Gardens”, which is a American Hemerocallis Society National Display Garden. Or, … in other words, … they specialize in “daylilies”! Jim and Peggy Jeffcoat are the owners of this garden, have been active in AHS for many many years, and “is” some of the nicest people one could ever meet!
I knew that peak season for this garden is usually around June 1, and there is always something blooming at this location, but again, it seemed things were on a bit of a holding pattern.
In a few weeks, one will not see as much green as we did yesterday. One will mostly see daylilies from 2 inches in size, right on up to 10 inches. Colors will range from yellow, red, pink, purple, gold, rose, cream, beige, lavender, peach, … you name it, ….. and “plenty” of butterflies and other insects. Oh yeah, and I can’t forget to mention all of the Japanese & Louisianna Iris around the pond!
Still, we found color, textures, interesting compositions in the varying plants and around the barn.
The image below is from a Japanes Maple Tree that was just coming into its own for the season, putting out new leaves.
I simply positioned myself next to the tree and pointing the lens into the center area of the tree, looking for shapes and patterns which gave some interesting compositions. And of course, … shooting wide open!

© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

“Japanese Red Maple”


And then, there were the “whimsical” little moments with Jim & Peg’s donkeys, watching them “ham it up” for the camera.
I absolutely love it when it is quite in the area, and out of nowhere, you can hear the laughter coming from those beautiful donkeys, … bouncing back and forth through the trees and to your ears. So cool!

© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

“Donkey Duo”


So, … that’s it in a nutshell.
After getting home yesterday, filling up on some hot vegetable soup and spicy breaded steak, I promptly missed the second half of the first Final Four game and the first 10 mintues of the second Final Four game in that beloved recliner of mine.

It was a good day!

And I also have to say, that I am a bit envious of the shot that Paul created, using that “cram it” method that I have talked about in the past.
Take a look at the image he created within the pine tree.
He surely had the vision at that moment, and one that I have never considered, ….. until now! : )

Thanks for looking gang, and everyone take good care of yourself!

April 1, 2007 - Posted by | abstract, art, blog, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, nature, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife


  1. […] today with Michael Brown. Many of you know him from the Macro Art In Nature blog. It was great. He wrote about the outing, as […]

    Pingback by Paul Lester Photo » Blog Archive » Southern hospitality! | April 1, 2007

  2. Mike, it was a fun outing and I’m looking forward to doing it again. It was well worth the short drive of 105 miles! To me that is pretty short. It’s an easy drive looking at all of the scenic SC beauty. Next time you’ll come up and we’ll go to some of my favorite places like the UNCC gardens. You’ll love it!

    My favorite part of the entire day was the beautiful sounds that the donkeys were making. I also really enjoyed petting them!

    We’ll have to make sure to do this every couple of months. We can even meet somewhere in the middle and discover new things!

    Love the shot of red maple!

    Comment by paul | April 1, 2007

  3. Oh what gorgeous images – it isn’t amazing how things look, when you really, really look

    Comment by Pam | April 1, 2007

  4. Mike, I knew you and Paul would hit it off. Your enthusiasm for nature is contagious–both of you. I loved how he used that “cram it” method for capturing the pine cones, and this maple shot of yours is so dreamy and soft, it looks like french wallpaper. Really beautiful!

    I’ll be heading to the iris fields soon, and also to a tulip festival. Can hardly wait to use that cram-it method & see what I come up with. (*By the way, thank you for your nice comment on my Into the Bouquet #5. I learned that technique from your detailed article and I love putting it to work. I appreciate the feedback!)

    Comment by Photo Buffet | April 2, 2007

  5. Thanks guys! : )

    Comment by macroartinnature | April 4, 2007

  6. Sweet pic

    Comment by MJ | April 4, 2007

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