"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

Michael Brown, Inventor Of The “Cram It” Method In Photography.

I can’t help but to get a good laugh out of all this!

I was looking at my WordPress stats the other week, and noticed quite a few hits coming from a forum over in France.
Not a large forum, as it looked like it might have been a forum for a camera club.
I noticed the link to “Macro Art In Nature”, so my curiosity got the best of me as I went to my translator to translate for me what was being said.
The whole thread was about the “Cram It” method, a technique that Michael Brown had created to create the images that can be found on his site.
Another forum that I have seen recently also had a long thread about the cram it method, a method that Michael Brown came up with.
And just yesterday, I came across another small forum where a guy asks in a thread, “Will someone kindly point me to the information on Michael Brown’s “cram it” method?” “I want to give this a try.”
Then in the same thread, someone else asked, … “I have seen the results and really like it.” “When will he start shipping out the software?”

I admit, … I get a bit tickled over this and usually start laughing!
I did not create this method, a method that has been around for ages now.
It may have been lost in the mix for awhile, when everyone in nature photography seemed to be focusing in on “details, details, details”, while seemingly ignoring anything that involved soft or soft focus images.

So again, ….. “I did not create this method!”
I may be known for giving it a name, and for all that I know, it just may already have a name that I don’t know about.
So “Michael Brown” gave it “this name”. I’ll be happy with that!

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

April 13, 2007 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, Digital, dragonflies, dragonfly, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hemerocallis, horticulture, insects, landscapes, lapidary, life, macro, Macro Photographer, minerals, nature, Nature Photographer, odonata, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, rock hound, rocks, slabs, Wildlife | , , , , , | 23 Comments

“Legless Lizard” – Using 75-300mm Lens & Canon 500D Diopter

This legless lizard, or glass lizard, “Ophiosaurus species”, was playing about some of the daylily blooms that were down on the ground.
As he moved throughout some of the flowers, dipping and weaving about in the throats of the flowers, I got down on the ground with the 75-300mm lens which already had the Canon 500D diopter attached, … and took a few.
I could tell that depth might be a problem, so I focused in on the eyes, making that the most important part of the subject.
The very strong gold coloring coming from the flower and the backlighting gave the image a bit of a overwhelming type of color that I did not like, … so I created this conversion that I was pleased with.
Something a bit different!

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

“Legless Lizard”
Ophiosaurus species

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Thanks for looking everyone!

This is another image that has been posted before on the old blog journal, but did not transfer during the move over to WordPress.

March 13, 2007 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hemerocallis, hiking, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 14 Comments

Ant Macro – “In Their World” Series

© 2006 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

Ant – “In Their World” Series

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This is another image from my “In Their World” series that I am not sure if I have ever posted before. So, here it is!

You can see a similar shot like this one by clicking on this link.

“Tuning In With Your Subjects In Macro Photography”

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

February 23, 2007 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hemerocallis, horticulture, insects, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Story Behind The Image

First of all, … many thanks to those who have written about the image that you see to the right side in the “About” section of this journal. It is without a doubt one of my favorites that I have ever created since it took me a number of years to get exactly what I wanted. I just did not think that it would create so much interest from viewers.

This image I consider to be my “intro” image for the “In Their World” series that is ever so slowly coming along. Not technically a difficult shot to create, but in my mind, … everything had to come together that fit my vision for this series. I have become very picky over the years, and this is one of the reasons why it took so long for this particular shot. I have a storyline, … and within that storyline is mystery and beauty. It has to be just right “for me“. (most important!)

© 2006 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited

Daylily – “In Their World” Series

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This image is of a daylily, or “hemerocallis“. I put the lens right on top of the petal and moved it towards the center or the throat area of the flower. I wanted a view, a feeling of how a small insect or other small creature might see it as they moved down that petal and to the center. Now one can view this for awhile and start to imagine just what that small creature in nature is thinking as he views it. Just what is he thinking as he moved towards the dropoff that leads down and deep within the throat of the flower. What does he think of that mass of vertical stamens on the other side of this deep canyon that reaches up to the heavens? I would imagine that yes, they do think of food, danger, mating, etc., … but what about their beautiful surroundings as they move along? Can they perceive colors as I do? I am basically a dreamer and explorer all rolled up into one, and have often wished that I were their size for a day. Again, ….. do they see beauty? Do they appreciate it the way that I do? Who knows, ….. but it is nice and fun to dream about it!

© 2006 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
Beetle – “In Their World” Series

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This series that I have been working on for some time now involves colorful abstracts of flowers, but the key players are the smallest of creatures. I enjoy capturing them in the beautiful world that they live in. I do not care for the massive amounts of details that so many seem to be after in the world of macro. I want to show a magical place where these little ones live, and try to show it with some scale. After getting the images needed for my intro shot that I had been wanting, I turned to see this small type of beetle inside another daylily, who was just sitting there in one place, lifting it legs up in the air alternately as if it were dancing. I swung the camera around on the tripod, had a near perfect distance to work with, moved one reflector, and started to shoot. 1/320 sec. @ f2.8 with a ISO 400. He was showing me “his world”. I loved it!

I look at this small insect through the lens, and I know that we are different from each other. But I ask myself, ….. just how much difference is there really? What do we have in common? Maybe I can put it in a image of what we have in common!

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

February 8, 2007 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hemerocallis, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 10 Comments

“Lynx Spider” – With Macro Photography, … Always Be Ready For The Unexpected!

© 2006 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

Personally, I think that having a heightened sense while shooting macro is a plus. Having a heightened sense in any style/type of photography is a huge plus, but it seems to be needed more so in the world of macro. I always seem to be running across those “unexpected moments”, and sometimes I seem to know that it is about to happen beforehand, as it did with this Lynx spider.

I was shooting some abstracts, cramming my lens down inside a daylily when I noticed a very tiny speck that looked like it was sitting on the pistil of the flower, deep within the throat area.
I thought that it was a small speck of pollen, but noticed a little hair like structure behind that speck.
I thought that it might be the very tip end of a spider’s leg that was barely showing.
I thought that if I moved my finger on the outside of the flower causing a bit of a shadow, and if in fact it was a spider that was hiding from me, it might make the spider a bit wary of that shadow and to move up into the frame and away from that shadow.
I had the camera on the tripod, the small area already framed and focused, moved my finger along side the flower, the spider moved up into the frame, … and bingo!
A slight readjustment with my focusing, two more shots, and this little guy was off deep into the flower.

It does not always work out like this, but if you can just get a feel for how nature will react to certain things, and be ready for the unexpected, … good things will happen for you!

Canon 100mm macro & 2x teleconverter
Tripod, macro slider, wimberly plamp, reflector
1/200 sec. @ f2.8
ISO 400

The older brother is visiting from Ireland, and I’m taking them all to the zoo for a bit of fun today so I’m outta here! :)

Everyone take care,
Michael

May 26, 2006 Posted by | art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hemerocallis, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Blogs vs Dedicated Photography Forums

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

This is a bit of a harsh rant maybe!
I will leave it upon the reader to figure out what might be best for them and their photography.

Remember the “poll” that I had some months ago?
Unfortunately, I made a mistake and deleted that poll before I retrieved the final numbers. 106 people took the poll.
The question in that poll was pretty much about what you were seeking as far as critiques while showing your images in a blog.
Choices were:
* Your images are a showcase of your work, therefore no critiques are needed.
* You show your images in a blog in hopes of receiving honest critiques.
* You are just having fun showing your images, and no critiques are really wanted or needed.

My question now is, “how am I to know that you want honest critiques from the images shown in your blog?”
Roughly 60% said that they posted in their blogs in hopes of getting honest feedback, and to get better with their photography.
About 20% stated that they needed no critiques, that they all were showcase images.
The other 20% or so were simply showing their images for fun.
So again, how is anyone to know that you are seriously asking for help unless you “state clearly” what you are looking for in your blog?
Do I give a honest critique for this blog that I am visiting?
If I give a critique, and this is considered a “showcase image” from the one who created the piece, … will they get upset?
Am I wasting time giving a critique to this image when the one who created it could care less if they get better at photography or not?
Lots of questions, thoughts, and ideas have popped into my head over the past few days about this.
Should the individual who is seeking help in hopes to get better put a notice somewhere on their blog about accepting honest critiques?
I don’t have any kind of notice on mine, (and maybe I should) … but I am always open to what people think, and their likes/dislikes with a image of mine.

Blogging is fun, … no doubt about that.
You meet a lot of people from all around the world, learning about their photography, where and how they live, learning about their families, cracking jokes, … but I think that there is less honesty when people leave comments about a image. Again, how are they to know what you want anyway?
If you truly want to get better with your photography, it is my opinion that a dedicated photography forum catering to the area of photography that you would like to persue, is without a doubt the way to go if you truly want to get better.
Wedding Photography? There are forums out there!
Nature/Wildlife Photograhy? Plenty of fourms to choose from!
Street Photography? They are there!
And there are more!!

Think about it!
You just don’t know what type of critiques you are getting in the world of blogging even when you actually get one, … most of the time. There is no “law of the land” with critiques and blogging. The blogging world is usually known as the “say what the hell you want to say” type of place.
In a dedicated forum, and when you posts your images, you automatically are asking for honest critiques/feedback/opinions/help, and normally you are going to get them. How else are you to learn if you do not get honest critiques?
How else are you to learn if you do not learn how to give critiques?
There are many who get a bit intimidated in a forum where there are professionals or advanced amateurs posting also. I most certainly understand that feeling! But, do you think that many of these people came into these forums already highly advanced? I sure didn’t. In fact, I came in to these forums pretty much ignorant on the subject of nature photography! I asked for help right from the start, … and I got it! Boy did I ever get it! LoL!!!
But it was the “honesty” that did the trick for me. It is the dedicated forums that has me where I am today in my photography.
Not a single person ever wanted to launch rockets to my house after I posted a certain picture, or come kick my door in and punch me out, or had any negative words in the forums.
Sure, they might have told me that the composition was terrible, but then they told me why they thought it was terrible and what they thought a good solution would be.
They might tell me that my usage of Photoshop was horrible, but then follow up with how to do it properly.
Then, I would get opinions on what I did very well with a particular image, and maybe how to enhance upon it.
Some wonderful people in these forums, and I have developed a long lasting relationship with many.
Blogging just might be the ticket for you, … then again it might not.
Do you truly want to advance your photography, to get better, maybe even someday to develop a style of your own as some dream of doing?
I have no doubt that a true dedicated photography forum is the way to go for the vast majority of people.
When it comes to dedicated photography forums, it is best to find a place where critiques received are offered in words, and not a point system.
Points can “never” take the place of spoken words!

There are some who have visited this blog before, then decided to take the plunge and go to a dedicated forum, only to go crazy in those dedicated forums! LoL!!
I have seen some to go into these dedicated forums and simply to have a blast.
They decided to jump in with both feet and finally start to learn something, … and “my o’ my” have they ever. No regrets!
I have seen some come over to NatureScapes and have really jumped in with vigor, … and I do mean “vigor!”
It’s fun, … and it’s fun to learn. Just do it!
My youngest son Joseph did, who is now 13 years old, has around 1500 posts in less than a year, and he loves it. Plus, he is learning from some individuals in those forums who are well known around the world!
So one more time, in my opinion, dedicated photography forums is the way to go!

*** With all that has been said, and with the image posted here, … tell me what you think.
I will tell you, that there is something that really bugs me about the image and I am trying to correct it.
Critique it for me. Tell me the good. Tell me the bad.
Since I have started this blog, I don’t remember one single and very hard critique on any one of my images. Why? I believe it is the “blogging atmosphere” that creates it.
I always get critiques at NatureScapes, both good and bad, … and helpful! All comments help to open one’s eyes!

Blogging is a wonderful portal to use in order to advance, … but still lacks that certain aspect that everyone should seek out in order to reach that peak.
So ask yourself, … “Is now the time to take the next step in my photography, … or maybe not?”
Whatever avenue you choose to take whether it be the use of blogging or a dedicated forum, I do wish you the best in your photography and for many years to come!

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

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May 7, 2006 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, Digital, dragonflies, dragonfly, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hemerocallis, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, lapidary, life, macro, Macro Photographer, minerals, nature, Nature Photographer, odonata, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, rock hound, rocks, slabs, Wildlife | , , , , , | 23 Comments

Flower Abstract – 50mm Nikkor Reversed Lens

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

Canon 100mm macro, Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens in reverse, extension tube
Tripod, macro slider, reflectors, mirror
1/30 sec. @ f2.8
ISO 100

March 26, 2006 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, 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 | , , , , , | 29 Comments

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