"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

James H. Brown Sr. April 11, 1924 – Feb. 25, 2011.

James H. Brown Sr., 86 years old, married to Betty for 63 years, father of 3  sons, grandfather of 5, great grandfather of 2, … my dad, died on Feb. 25, 2011.
He was buried at Fort Jackson National Cemetery.
A “NAVY” guy!

My dad once told to me that he liked this photo that you see above.
He said, “I wonder what it would be like to fly like a dragonfly and sit around a pond?”
It just so happens that my father-in-law who is a retired Rev., carried out the funeral service for the family and had this story to tell during the service.
It seemed so fitting!

The story goes something like this:

A large family of dragonfly nymphs were living in the waters of a beautiful pond, just a foot or so below the water’s surface.
Over time, members of the dragonfly family noticed that some of its family members were disappearing.
Some family members were seen moving towards the surface of the pond, moving to the top portion of the water and into the sunlight, where they vanished, never returning and telling the rest of the family what they had seen, or experienced.
The remaining dragonfly family members were concerned, and decided among themselves that if anyone should happen to go to the other side of the water’s surface, that they would try and return to tell the others about what was there, … what they had seen.

Just a few days later, one little dragonfly nymph had the urge to move upwards, to the surface, to the beautiful light above.
He swam up, breaking the surface waters, then climbed up a narrow strand of grass.
There he soon had wings, and the urge to fly began.
He happily flew around this new world that was full of amazing things he had never seen before.
Then he remembered that he was suppose to return and tell the rest of his family what he had seen, … what he had experienced.
He tried to get back below the water’s surface, but he could not.
He tried over and over again, … but never once could he break below the surface, to return to his family and the world that he knew.
So, … he flew away, never seeing his family again as he once knew them.
He never forgot his cherished family and the love he had for them, … but he was in his place now.
It was a glorious place to be!

This is where I see my dad now. A glorious place.

The night before he died, my youngest son Joseph and I went to the hospital to see him.
He was very talkative, but for the past three days no one could understand a thing he was saying because of the mask he was wearing and the sound of oxygen being forced into his mouth/nose. He had two air embolisms within his lungs and they were trying to get them to move into a filter that was placed within just a day earlier.

We stayed for about 90 minutes.
Little did we know that Joseph and I would be the last to see him alive.
Joseph told him good bye, then I leaned over and kissed him on his head, telling him in his ear that we were leaving and would see him the following day.
I then told him, “I love you daddy”.
Some way, some how, my daddy said very clearly to me, “I love you too son”. Joseph heard it as well.

He somehow had managed to say it loud and clear to me.
I believe now that he knew.
I believe that was the way it was suppose to be.
I believe that was the way God planned it.
I take great comfort knowing that those were the last words he ever spoke to me, … and I heard it.

So daddy, … your sons lifted a toast of old Irish whiskey to you.
We pray that heaven has Grits and RedEye Gravy, good guitars, country music, and that God will allow you to fly with the angels wearing your Zoot Suit!

I love you daddy!

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March 11, 2011 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, designer, Digital, dragonflies, dragonfly, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, odonata, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | 22 Comments

NatureScapes.Net Radio – A Nice Chat About Nature Photography!

Host Dave Warner and LensFlare35 had a interesting radio show last night live with E.J Peiker and Greg Downing from the NatureScapes.Net nature photography site, and I must say, that it was quite interesting!

The show consisted of a introduction by E.J. & Greg about themselves, and a bit of history about the NatureScapes site. It lasted a little more than 1 hour.
A little bit of everything was then discussed, such as cameras and lenses, the use of flash, portable blinds, air travel with camera gear, PC’s and Macs, Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop, … and more!
Individuals were allowed to ask questions on line via chat room, or e-mailing them in to Dave. There was also a telephone number that one could use to phone in with their questions. Cool stuff!
Missed it?
You can go here to listen to it now, and NatureScapes will start to archive them soon in a edited version on their website.

NatureScapes.Net will have these radio shows every month, maybe more than once a month.
It is something that I think would be good for individuals to tune in to, … and to learn.
Just visit the NatureScapes.Net site to keep up with the dates and time.

And nope, … I don’t work for them neither, but I do like their style!

Michael

March 3, 2010 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 2 Comments

When It Rains, ….. *** (UPDATE)

*** The police found the car about 3 miles from our home around 3:00pm today.
It was a bit dirty, a full tank of gas was gone, smelled of pot inside, a man’s shirt left inside, the license tag had been replaced with a dealer’s tag, and a small kids school backpack left in the back. No damage, and the police say that they know who it is. Now, … just finding him!

**********

As that saying goes, “When It Rains, … It Pours”.

Yesterday morning, I go outside to crank mine and my wife’s car up to let them warm up a bit in this cold weather we have been having.
I come back inside, grab some things to get ready to leave, and in less than 5 minutes time, my wife’s new SUV is gone.
DAMN!
Yep, … somebody stole it right from our driveway, right from under our nose!

If anyone out there who has been having some good luck, and has some left over, … could you please send me some?
You can FedEx it if you like, and I will gladly pay for it too!

Seriously though, … seems like I couldn’t buy any breaks if I had all the money in the world.
From my truck getting totaled by a drunk driver 2 years ago, the hot water heater causing a huge mess, a hiking/shooting trip in Georgia that resulted in me getting a couple of teeth knocked out, a lawn mower that blew up, the loss of huge trees on our property from two different storms, a sink hole on our property, ….. I truly can’t catch a break.

Hopefully I will post something again one day. Maybe something that will inspire both you, ….. and me! God knows I need some quick inspiration.
Right now, it is pretty tough to write anything at all, … other than a bunch of curse words! :)

Hope that everyone had a great New Year, and that 2010 will be the best ever.
I’ll come around one of these days, ….. and soon!

Michael

January 13, 2010 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, Digital, dragonflies, dragonfly, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, gems, 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 | , , , , , | 13 Comments

LensFlare35.com, … and other stuff!

Still busy, … writing a lot, … and trying to keep my feet warm today!

I have been meaning for quite a while now, to pay a visit to a site that I have heard about from some other photographers, and I finally got around to it a little bit yesterday.
Bottom line? Excellent site!
The site is LensFlare35.com.
Here you can find many Podcasts from some of the top photographers around.
You can listen to them speak while they show some of their images, and there is some quite intriguing material to be found there.
Some that I have listened to so far are from well known photographers such as Arthur Morris, Tyler Stableford, David Hume Kennerly, William Neill, Gabby Salazar, Art Wolfe, George Lepp, Alfred & Fabiola Forns, and Greg Downing.
There is a lot more that I have yet to get to, and will spend some time there this weekend just to listen, to learn, … to study.
Nothing to do right now? Then kick back and enjoy!

This image below is a sister image to a image I posted a while back.
That image & post can be found here. “Let It Be”

Hope that everyone has been getting along well, and hopefully I’ll shoot something in here again right before Christmas.

Take care everyone,
Michael

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

December 18, 2009 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, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Macro Photography And Digital Painting

I just started back painting some this week. Back to “macro painting”.
Have been looking through some of my older paintings and some of the newer images that I think might work pretty well for what I have in mind.
I enjoy painting within a computer.
To me, … it’s relaxing.
Also, … I have found that art buyers and designers are just as receptive to those digital creations as they are with straight photography.
All is has to be to them is, ………. “different”.
I have also been searching for various canvas textures to print these on now.
There has been some new papers etc. that has come out in the last few years, some of which I have only recently become aware of.
Some cool stuff out there!

The following two images were created in the past few years, … and the one of the frog has been posted before.
The one of the frog has always been one of my favorites!

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited
“Old Satch” – The Frog

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© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited
Floral – Abstract

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Thanks for stopping by gang,
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer
“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

July 2, 2009 Posted by | abstract, art, art buyer, art consultant, blog, botanical, canon, composition, designer, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 17 Comments

Macro Photography. “The Baseball Approach”.

I am a pitcher.
I enjoy a mixture of pitches, and I especially enjoy keeping the batters back on their heels.
When I take to the mound, I must have a good mixture of pitches and have good command of those pitches, … or the batter will figure me out and take it to the house.
I love to throw the batter a good curve ball, or maybe a change up.
Mix in a slider, a good sinker, an occasional fastball … and I’ve got something going.
But my favorite pitch of all, … is the knuckle ball.
The knuckle ball is a pitch that the batter sees coming to the plate, … but he sure as hell don’t know where it’s going to wind up at!
That is the pitch that I dearly love.

There are those who love to throw the fastball.
They will throw it, … throw it, ….. and then throw it some more.
Soon, their arm will tire and wear out.
Those fast balls many times will start to rise, until they eventually have trouble finding the plate.
Sometimes they will throw a wild pitch, which overall can be a bad thing in many ways.
They throw fastballs until they are weak and wild, and/or until the batter loses one into the stands.
The pitcher now needs some relief.
How does he find it?
Someone comes in and takes his place, putting him on the bench.
That pitcher is now a bystander, and will not be called upon again.

In macro photography, and in some of the forums that I visit, I see lots of pitchers.
I see lots of pitchers who have command of their pitches, but lately, it seems that there are only a few who dare to master many pitches.
I see lots of pitchers who are throwing nothing but fastballs, mixed with a rare curve.
They are good. They are damn good!
But it seems that they are happy with one or two good pitches, and are hoping to that they will be able to live with just those couple of pitches.
They have all of the technique needed to produce those couple of pitches.
The batter soon figures them out, as they continue to throw the same thing out there over and over again.
Soon, the batter swings, … connects, ….. “rejected” into the cheap seats!
They will connect over and over again after they see that same old pitch enough times to get their rhythm.
It’s the same old thing, … over and over again.
So, … a good pitcher can be a master of a few pitches.
A Cy Young type of pitcher will be the standout among all pitchers, and know how and when to mix things up.

The following are some of my favorite pitches.
They are all knuckleballs!

© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited
“Knuckle”

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© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited
Japanese Maple Leaf

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© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited
Pond Scene – Conversion

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So, I guess what I am trying to say here is this.
In macro photography, which I honestly believe gives far more opportunities to create something uniquely different in nature photography than any other form such as landscape, wildlife, etc., … that macro seems to be lacking the punch that it once enjoyed a few years ago.
I view many different blogs, websites, and forums which feature a lot of great macro photography, and although there is some absolutely stunning macro work to be found, … well, ….. it seems to me that many pitcher’s arms have given out and the batters have them all figured out.
Someone in the bullpen is waiting!

Are you a pitcher, ….. or a batter?
If you are a true pitcher, … then when was the last time you tried throwing a few knuckleballs?

Image info:

Image #1. I will keep that info to myself for now.
I know that many may not care for this type of imagery, but I am not afraid of stepping up to the plate and saying, … “I do”.
All done in camera.
Canon 100mm macro, 2X teleconverter.

Image #2 Japanese Maple Leaf
Canon 100mm macro, 2X teleconverter.
To much of that empty space?
Well, … I like this one too!

Image #3
A pond scene that was converted to black and white, but then I did something that I hear is a big no no in some circles.
Even though you can’t really see it in this small jpg., I added a touch of cyan/green to the overall image which looks a bit different to the viewer when printed larger.

So now, ………. there are my knuckleballs!
Can you, … the batter, … figure out where the ball is heading?
Sometimes, … just sometimes, … the pitcher does not have a clue as to where it is heading neither! : )

Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer
“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

June 28, 2009 Posted by | abstract, art, art buyer, art consultant, blog, botanical, canon, composition, designer, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 10 Comments

“In Their World” Series – Macro Silhouettes

I decided to take a break from some of the back breaking landscaping being done here at home yesterday, and to grab the camera gear and head out to the ponds late in the evening.
The lighting was wonderful for some macro type silhouettes!

© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited
“In Their World” – Series
Robberfly Silhouette

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There were numerous compositions to be found along side the ponds with the hazy late evening sun showing in the waters, presenting silhouettes in the grassy areas and the occasional insect gazing about and into the world in which they live.

© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited
“In Their World” – Series
Dragonfly Silhouette

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Using the 100-400mm lens gave me plenty of room to play from the shoreline.
The trick in most cases was to find a appealing composition and to create the right kind of depth so that the detail of the main subject (the insect) would not blend together with its surroundings. To let the drop off of depth to start right behind the insect, … to fall off into a blur.
Only a very slight curves/contrast adjustment was used in both images.

Hope that everyone has been doing well, and that your creativity is always in high gear!

Thanks for visiting everyone,
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer
“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

June 15, 2009 Posted by | abstract, art, art buyer, art consultant, blog, botanical, canon, composition, designer, Digital, dragonfly, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 14 Comments

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