"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

Move back, … and take it all in!

This image is nothing more than a reminder, that macro photography does not necessarily mean that you have to get so close that you can see your subject’s DNA!
Back away for some of your images. Try to capture your main subject in a pleasing way, but also showing its surroundings that appeals to the viewer’s eyes.
How often do you see a macro image where the entire frame is or can be the main subject?
I enjoy shooting various types of insects in this manner. Fun, … and fairly easy to do.

With the following image, I used a older Canon 75-300mm lens with a polarizer.
I was shooting slightly downhill, with the pond as my background.
After loading the image into the system, I simply used one of the many Photo Filters (cooling filter) for the image which gave it a slight and overall bluish tint.
Then I selectively removed some of that blue away from the greens, increased saturation in the greens, and did the same thing with some of the parts that were in red, … or yellow, … and so on.
Some selective burning, or you can call it “selective contrast/sharpening” on the dragonfly itself was used to make the dragonfly stand out a bit more.

Again, … simple and easy to do.
(I need to look up the name of this particular dragonfly)

© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Unknown Dragonfly” – Odonata


Thanks for looking and stopping by!

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

August 29, 2007 - Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, dragonflies, dragonfly, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hemerocallis, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, odonata, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , ,


  1. That’s beautiful! Thanks for the great reminder.

    Comment by HeyJules | August 29, 2007

  2. Very nice Michael. Excellent use of PS. The DF seems to just glow. I think this is a widow skimmer.


    Comment by Nathan Buck | August 29, 2007

  3. Love those lacy wings!
    Great bokeh–water does a good job for certain backgrounds, hmm?

    I visited your PhotoShelter site – it’s a beautiful representation of your work, Mike.

    Comment by Photo Buffet | August 29, 2007

  4. Beautiful. What a unique looking dragonfly. Good advice as always.

    Comment by Roberta | August 29, 2007

  5. Excellent photo and words Mike – I too like to step back a bit and show subjects in their environment :) You captured nice detail on the dragonfly with the 300 mm lens, also the colours came out great, cheers..

    Comment by david kleinert | August 30, 2007

  6. I’m enjoying the colors certainly, but it’s the composition that strikes me immediately. This is a difficult design to make work with the placement of the dragonfly (DF) so much into the corner. The DF is also small relative to the frame, which I find powerful visually when it works. You would think this would make an unbalanced image, heavy to the left and yet the light tones at the upper right seem to balance it all. I don’t believe that any image requires balance, but I do feel this one maintains it.

    Comment by Paul Grecian | August 30, 2007

  7. Simply beautiful!

    Comment by Laurie | August 30, 2007

  8. Ah, this is so beautiful. I really appreciate the words you write to describe your thought process as well as the artistic process in creating these. The colors, dof, … everything is perfect (as is nearly all your work)!

    Comment by puzzled | September 1, 2007

  9. Very nice image Michael and thanks for sharing how you processed it. Very creative!

    Comment by Stephen Rauch | September 1, 2007

  10. I am a groupie and visit your Art in Nature blog quite often. Its a benchmark in photography for me.

    I love the diamond shape lights in the background. I wonder how you got them to be diamond shaped?

    For your amusement I wish you could read this thread in a very interesting Critique group on Flickr here it is: Orbs

    I think the diamond shapes are light reflected off background foliage. I can get ‘orb’ shapes, but I have no idea how you get diamond shapes.

    I am no help with the dragon fly. Some of the big bug boys on Make it a Megashot might be able to help on naming it.


    Comment by maggie | September 2, 2007

  11. Thanks everyone for stopping by and the kind comments.
    Appreciate it!

    Maggie, the shape of out of focus highlights is influenced by the shape and aperture opening in the lens. The aperture has a diaphragm with several blades that allow it to open and close. The more blades, the rounder the opening. Shooting with the lens set to wide open will often produce a softer, more round set of highlights, while a smaller aperture will produce a more distinct edge in those highlights, and sometimes that star shaped highlight that you mentioned.

    Just so happens I knew of a page on Flickr that has some examples.

    Hope this helps! :)


    Comment by macroartinnature | September 2, 2007

  12. Thank you so much for the explanation Mike.
    I have quoted you in another of our discussions in the Make it a Megashot group. Hope you don’t mind.

    The link shows some gorgeous out of focus highlights (Diamond shaped orbs) in color! Splendid.

    Now I shall have to find time to go try and create some of these beauties, preferably on artistic flower photos.

    Comment by maggie | September 3, 2007

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