"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

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.

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.


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!

“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 | , , , , ,


  1. That’s awesome Mike. I’m always amazed at how you can take a photo of something real and make it look so unreal. I’ll have to give this idea a shot. I’ve come close to letting myself take out of focus pictures, but something in me keeps forcing me to focus on at least one part of the image.

    Comment by Brian Auer | April 21, 2007

  2. This is a wonderful way to learn about color too. I find it really helps you learn to see lighting, colors, and shapes; and can improve your eye for all forms of photography. Not to mention making for beautiful photos as you demonstrate day in and day out!

    Comment by Roberta | April 21, 2007

  3. Michael: May I please post your recent blog entry on Macro Photography in Nature in my blog? There is only one picture, and I think it will be an inspiration to people and send visitors to your site. RSVP AJN

    Comment by Alex Noble | April 22, 2007

  4. I will try your method for sure! I’m fascinated by how out of focus can be a way of improving your images and of experimenting. Thanks for sharing and have a great Sunday!

    Comment by sil63 | April 22, 2007

  5. That’s funny! I’ve been using this method for a while and discovered it quite by accident. Now, every once in a while, I’ll just go for the glow. Hmmm, that’s what I’ll call my method: “Go for the glow”. Maybe then I can become famous like you! :-)

    Lovely shot, as always, Michael.

    Comment by charlottekings | April 22, 2007

  6. Darn it, I just got my cram it t-shirt, now I have to order this one too. The 500D is a great tool for exploring this stuff because at most distances, everything is a blur! :-)

    Comment by Mark | April 22, 2007

  7. This is so beautiful for this time of year!! Very sunny and cheerful…pleasant to view.

    Comment by micki | April 22, 2007

  8. Just when I got used to the cram-it method, along comes another to stir things up. You’ve gotta stay out of those trees, Mike.

    This is another beautifully soft-focus shot. Will you post more of your up-the-tree photos? Love the pastel tones and dreamy light.

    Comment by Photo Buffet | April 22, 2007

  9. p.s. Are you telling me all those out of focus slides I have in the trash I need to dig out now? :-)

    Comment by Mark | April 22, 2007

  10. this is so beautiful…Love the colors here
    Thanks for sharing the technique …

    Comment by Intern | April 22, 2007

  11. You know, I just now realized there was a way to take my kit lens (for the 20D) turn it around backwards, and shoot through the lens that way…silly me…
    Runs the risk of scratching the glass a bit, and the focusing is somewhat dodgy, but I’ve managed a few shots that I never thought was able to do..
    These little “discoveries” and such tidbits that you post, keeps me in tune with considering all possibilitis within the world of photography…
    You never know what you can do until you just do it.

    Comment by S- | April 22, 2007

  12. A beautiful shot there Michael – nice soft colors and interesting technique! Regards, Nawfal

    Comment by Nawfal Nur | April 22, 2007

  13. Wow, what a stunning image! If I could take just one photograph like this, I’d be happy for the rest of my life. :)

    Comment by Judith Polakoff | April 23, 2007

  14. Beautiful colours. I enjoy reading your notes on the method and processing. Great stuff!

    Comment by Jeremy | April 23, 2007

  15. great blog. I’m really like what i see here. Incredibly useful blog with fantastic macro photography. Bookmarked.

    Comment by Rodion | April 23, 2007

  16. Lovely subdued colours here and some simple shapes to set them off.

    Comment by BobC | April 23, 2007

  17. It’s been awhile since I dropped by… let’s see what The Maestro is up to.

    Hmmm… moved to WordPress. Very nice! I really like the look.

    I understand you hooked up with mutual amigo Paul. From what I have seen, you got him going on the macros.

    Now for this maple leaf… it really pisses me off! I shot the same subject this very day, and it is nowhere near this good. Very good work.

    Comment by MontereyJohn | April 24, 2007

  18. Wow what a great idea. So simple and refreshing. We’re all busy frantically trying to get that crisp focus to our shots and then along comes this – dare I say it? – abstract process! I can’t wait to give it a go.

    Your blog is bookmarked!

    Comment by Jas | April 24, 2007

  19. Dude, this is what my whole world looks like when I take off my glasses! Probably where I got my initial interest in blurry photography….

    Comment by Daniel Sroka | April 24, 2007

  20. Whoa! Did not expect this kind of response!! :)

    Thanks everyone, and very much appreciate your thoughts on this type of image.

    And Daniel, … I know what you are talking about buddy!

    Comment by macroartinnature | April 25, 2007

  21. this one is so beautiful, mike. i could gaze at it for ages.

    Comment by sabinche | April 27, 2007

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