"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

“Clearing The Mind Of Macro Photography”

The existing weather conditions gave me one of the most awesome days for shooting macro that I have had in some years.
I arrived early at the Clemson Sandhill Research & Education Center in a complete fog, stunned at the silence and the beauty of that morning.
But soon, … I found out that my mind simply was not prepared for a day of macro photography.

I had planned for a day of experimenting with a few ideas I had floating around in my head, but it seemed that I was doing nothing more than pointing and shooting, which is not how I usually work.
I usually do not take a shot unless I think that it is something I can keep for my files.
On this day, … I took 186 images which is a lot for me, … but nothing seemed to be coming to me.
I decided to stop, … to stop trying for anything in macro, … to stop thinking.
It was time to clear the mind, which I believe is something that everyone should do at some point in time.

On my way back to the car, I noticed the fog that had rolled out and over the pond, surrounding a point that went out into the pond.
It was a image that I had envisioned at this pond for a number of years, and … there it was. Cool!

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.


So, … on this day, I took 186 images but only kept the 1 image of the foggy point out in the pond. No macro was created on this day.
I put the gear back into the car, grabbed my bottle of Mountain Dew and a pack of cheese crackers, walked back down to the pond, sat on a stump, and simply enjoyed the many gifts on this day.
I was clearing the mind.

The following day, I woke up with hopes of having the same kind of weather conditions as the day before.
I looked out the window, and already there were blue skies. Damn!
As I went about the day doing some things around the house, it started to get a bit dark and cloudy outside. A slight drizzle of rain soon moved in.
I checked the weather channel and it looked like it might be a good time to go back out to the research center.
I arrived at the ponds late in the day, and my mind was still clear of macro.
I decided to relax, … and simply let those scenes and the images to happen.

I noticed a “anhinga” (anhinga leucogaster) perched atop a old dock out in the water.
I placed the camera on the tripod, looked through the viewfinder while trying to find some pleasing compositions, and quickly noticing the somewhat lifeless looking sky in the background.
So, using that old technique of “cramming” or shooting through existing foliage, … it gave the background (actually the foreground) a bit more substance.
I like the silhouette. I like the illusion of clouds in the background.
I like the fact that the bird is looking out of the frame, although I am sure that the avian experts would say something otherwise.
I like that I was able to find certain openings through that foliage, giving one area the look as if it were a setting sun, and also leaving a opening area for the bird.
I like that I was able to clear the mind of macro photography, to relax, to create something different than the norm, … to simply enjoy!

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.


Thanks for stopping by gang, … and, …
Best of “New Year” to you all!

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature”

December 29, 2008 - Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , ,


  1. Michael…I’m so glad that you were in that particular state of mind…I can’t tell you just how much I enjoy these captures…stunning, really! How about…Unexpected..for unnamed?

    Comment by spookydragonfly | December 30, 2008 | Reply

  2. Michael….just happened upon your blog today….and I’m so glad I did. My heart is moved by both images!

    Comment by Kerri | December 30, 2008 | Reply

  3. Although it sounds that these may not be what you set out to get, I think these are 2 of your finest. They are wonderful shots. The first one is absolutely stunning in every way.

    Comment by Laurie | December 30, 2008 | Reply

  4. You should feel great about this photo, it is excellent. It is exciting how it all came together for you. The distorted clouds make this picture outstanding.

    Comment by Preston Surface | December 30, 2008 | Reply

  5. Just beautiful. Both of them. I’d hate to see what you threw away from the 186 images!

    Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2009.

    Comment by Roberta | December 30, 2008 | Reply

  6. I visit your blog often….Not to good at leaving footrprints,but still I am here as often as I can. I love your beautiful photos. Very inspireing. I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!

    Comment by Sol | December 30, 2008 | Reply

  7. Hey man, Happy new Year. Both wonderful shots. Sometimes it helps just to take advantage of what’s there. I like the Anhinga shot – adds a bit of tension with the posture, and that background is quite cool!

    Comment by Mark | January 1, 2009 | Reply

  8. Sometimes it does you good to get out of your mind set and just see! These two images show what a great photographer you are. Love both the shots. Hope your new year is full of blessings.


    Comment by Theo | January 2, 2009 | Reply

  9. Great story Michael. The images still have your style written all over it even though the technique might have been different.

    Comment by Richard Wong | January 2, 2009 | Reply

  10. I really like the first image Michael, very subtle and moody. I don’t know if I’d be considered a bird-photographer, but I do quite a bit of it and the cormorant looking out of the frame is wonderful. To me, it’s not so important which way a bird is looking as much as how it fits with the rest of the image. In this case I feel that the trees on the lower left balance the bird and the areas of bright sky on the left pull you back into the image anyway. In fact I don’t know if this image works as well if the bird is looking to the left.

    Comment by Paul Grecian | January 4, 2009 | Reply

  11. I love both images. A good eye is a good eye … important to see the world around us. Thank you for inspiring us, Michael (some days are simply wonderful).

    Comment by joey | January 4, 2009 | Reply

  12. Hey, ….. thanks guys!

    It just happened to be one of those days, … or one of those weeks I guess you could say.
    My mind was “not with it” when it came to what I have been shooting for years now, and changing things up a bit really helped.
    Now, … I’m back to my old ways again! :)

    Thanks again everyone for stopping by and the very kind comments.


    Comment by macroartinnature | January 5, 2009 | Reply

  13. I know that state of mind you describe here. All too well. It’s a good thing, when you feel as if you have run out of steam, to go out anyway, leave your comfort zona, roll with the punches and still come home with something worthwhile. Lovely pictures by the way – but that’s just my humble ‘expert’ opinion :-)

    Comment by peter | January 6, 2009 | Reply

  14. Michael, that is the best Anhinga picture I have ever seen. I love birds, I just do not find the Anhinga a pretty one to photograph.

    Happy New Year!

    Comment by Darlene Almeda | January 6, 2009 | Reply

  15. Peter, Darlene, … many thanks!


    Comment by macroartinnature | January 9, 2009 | Reply

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