"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

“Grit My Teeth” Photographer’s Rant!

Well, … come to think about it, … I don’t think that I have really ranted about anything much lately. I have been a good boy!
And, … today is April Fools Day and I did not even plan some kind of joke on any family or friends.
I had better go see my doctor for a checkup!

So, what can I gripe or rant about, and maybe not all to do with photography?
There are some things that do make me grit my teeth.

In no certain order:
1. Okay, it has now got to the point where if I am in a room full of people, and someone brings up that zillion year old question “What Is Art”?, … I will haul ass out of that room as fast as possible.

2. I have never seen a portrait of a naked and pregnant woman that is memorable. They all look the same to me!

3. The “PC” commercial that is running now, … you know, … the “I’m not cool enough to be a Mac person”, … is probably one of the most idiotic commercials to come out in a long time!
(I love the “HOT” new Hardee’s commercial though!)

4. Why on earth would a photographer like me spend big bucks to enter a major photography contest with photography categories such as Advertising, Fine Art, Editorial, Sports, Photojournalism, Portraits, Still Life, People, Architecture, Nature, etc., … when almost all of the judges are photographers or editors who deal mainly in the areas of Advertising, Editorial, Photojournalism, or they run a museum or art gallery?
You will never see a nature photographer win the absolute top prize!

5. Why would a macro photographer enter a nature photography contest when all of the judges shoot either landscapes or wildlife?

6. Why does so much of this so called “Fine Art” which shows death, misery, poverty, etc., … consistently overshadows anything with beauty?

7. When in a room full of “keep your pinky finger pointed upwards while you sip your drink and do your art speak” type of people, … why do I get the sudden urge to lean over and lick my own butt in order to get rid of that bad taste that developed in my mouth?

8. Why does a professor require that the students to buy some expensive software that the professor themselves nor the school even owns a copy of?

9. After listening to some more hilarious news this morning, … why can’t I have a job where I don’t have to pay any taxes, … or penalties?

10. When our 25th wedding anniversary comes up this July, and my wife is looking for a “happy clappy”, … will she get P’sd if I tell her our President took it?

Damn, … I finally get a couple of days off from shooting, … and I think I am going mad! : )
I see a mid-day Corona coming on!!

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

April 1, 2009 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, nature, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 21 Comments

A bit of “Macro Art In Nature” news!

A new website? A second blog, … maybe even a third blog?
Certain prints up for sale that only the consultants/designers have been selling?
Well, ….. maybe all of this and more! : )

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
Brazil Agate Rock
“The Split”

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Yes, … I know, … I have not posted very much this past year or so, and have also been pretty terrible at visiting other blogs.
I have been shooting some things a year in advance, and that has kept me pretty busy.
I have quickly learned, that with the way things are in today’s marketplace, one needs to look ahead. “Way ahead!”

I am finally putting a website together. Should be finished soon.
I never really had much of a need for a website, relying on my archives to show existing or potential clients my work.
But now, I have changed up a few things, eliminating my archives over at Photoshelter, and whipping up a new site.
In stock photography, a site like Photoshelter would work out very well.
In the pure and high end art market, in my opinion, … a more personal website would be a bit more beneficial to me at this time.
Sure, … I could have had a new site together and used Photoshelter along with it, … but something told me to head in a different direction.
So, I did!

I will eventually put this blog journal together with the new website.
Hopefully, putting the two together will be a painless venture, since I am not a HTML/CSS guru!

The second blog will probably feature imagery that has been sold through consultants and designers, and being offered for the first time to everyone else.
The prices will be ridiculous! : )

Some of those images you have seen before in this journal here at “Macro Art In Nature”, … but I have never really told you which ones and what types were selling to those hotels, casinos, corporate offices, etc. Plus, … maybe a bit of chatting about what those consultants/designers, and what their clients are consistently looking for, … or so it seems to me!
And, … I must admit, … one of the reasons for some of these prints and their prices, ….. is that my two sons are literally scaring the hell out of me with their choices of college. So, … I gotta get creative in a different kind of way.
Anyone rich out there want to adopt me?
Inside track on the right lotto numbers?
Discounts on Excedrin and Jack Daniels?
I need a hug!

A third blog journal is also in the works, a journal for writers and photographers.
More on this later, ….. if it all works out.
It’s got to be perfect!

Guess that is it for now.
I have a ton of editing to do, … more fiddling around with the new site, … and to finish up the back porch tomorrow morning before the wife has my head all to herself!

And, … as always, … many thanks for stopping by gang!
Michael

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

March 5, 2009 Posted by | abstract, art, art buyer, art consultant, blog, canon, composition, designer, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, lapidary, life, macro, Macro Photographer, minerals, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, rock hound, rocks, slabs, Wildlife | , , , , , | 20 Comments

Frans Lanting: A lyrical view of life on Earth.

Without a doubt, … Frans Lanting is one of the greatest nature photographers of our time.
A touch over 18 minutes in length, this video shows Frans Lanting speaking and showing some of the incredible imagery he has created over the years.

March 3, 2009 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The “Adagio” Series

This is a few more images from the “Adagio” series, created around some of the ponds near where I live.
I am now working on a similar series with rocks that line certain rivers, streams, lakes, and certain areas around the coastal regions of South Carolina.
My personal opinion is that these types of images literally speaks to the mind when viewed much larger.
Not macro, … but certainly a lot of fun and something that keeps the juices flowing!

© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Adagio” Series – #43

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© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Adagio” Series – #42

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© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Adagio” Series – #41

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Hope that everyone is getting along fine, … and thanks for visiting gang!
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature”

January 27, 2009 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, 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 | , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Perfect Season For Training Your Mind. Compositions In Nature.

© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Adagio Series” – #1

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In my opinion, there is not a better season to learn or to practice your composition skills in nature photography than in the fall-winter seasons.
Often you will find yourself trying to clear all of that daily clutter from your mind so you can concentrate on certain goals that you have in nature photography, so why not make the big push to concentrate on your compositional skills by shooting when there is less clutter in nature!
Hey, … there is not that many if any leaves left on the trees and shrubs.
Less clutter!
Now, … anytime of course is a good time to practice or to perfect your composition skills, but try it while we are still in a season when certain subjects seem so clean or somewhat unblemished.

With the first image above, if this narrow row of grasses was shot during the late spring or summer months, the grasses would have been more full, showing a lot more green and more thicker, leafy areas. It probably would have looked like a solid wall of green and other colors.
By shooting this in the late fall to early winter months, that row of grass along the edge of the pond looks much thinner, more distinct in nature.
I may or may not have seen this particular composition in the summer months because of the clutter or thickness of the row of grass. But, in the fall/winter period, my mind was able to see it much differently, thus allowing me to see a composition that I liked.

Now with this next image, … it is a simple example of a area with less clutter because of the season.
If it were taken during late spring or into the summer season, it would have been full of foliage and not as easy to work with or to find those intriguing compositions.
It mostly shows various lines that nature has given me, with some mixture of vertical/horizontal/diagonal lines mixed with a bit of color.
Playing within a area such as the image below allows the mind to play freely, to see how lines react within the frame using various depths of field, to see how well certain lines work when entering or exiting the frame and where, to experiment with different lenses and lighting, to selectively choose which areas should contain the most detail if any, to study the various tones within the darkest stems, … and more.
Much of this can’t be done or done as well when there is nothing but a big batch of foliage to contend with.
When one finds a area such as this, … study it. Take your time.
When finished, … it becomes time to move in even closer, to explore, … maybe for some abstracts.

© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Adagio Series” – #4

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Moving in closer allows you to play even further, with a whole different area to cover.
I like to do this while using the Canon 100mm macro and 2x teleconverter, or my favorite, … using one of the Canon zooms, such as the Canon 100-400mm lens.
Using the zoom allows me the comfort of staying where I am and moving in closer instead of moving the tripod and myself in closer. Many times I can’t move myself in closer even if I wanted to.
Also, probably my favorite way of shooting, is to position myself right in the middle of a batch of grass or shrubbery, and shoot outwards.
During the fall-winter season, getting into the middle of a batch of grass or shrubbery is a little more comforting, … because there are less critters involved!

So, why not start now?
Getting out is good for you, and nature always has something to offer!

© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Adagio Series” – #11

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The “Adagio Series” is a series of images that are usually taken around a pond or lake, deliberately overexposed on very foggy days.

Hope that this bit of info gives some of you some ideas.
Thanks for visiting everyone,
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

January 8, 2009 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, 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 | , , , , , | 11 Comments

“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.
“unnamed”

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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.
“Anhinga”

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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 | , , , , , | 15 Comments

High-Key Landscapes.

The following two images is a combination of intentionally overexposing the image, then taking the image into Photoshop for a touch levels/curves to brighten the scene and help to remove any existing gray in the background.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Adagio Series”

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My son and I went out for a day of shooting around the ponds at the Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center located in the Columbia area of South Carolina.
It certainly was the cloudy day I had been looking for, … but a bit on the wicked side.
Light gray skies, quickly turning to a very dark gray, … back to light gray then to dark gray again with some wind and rain, … then a touch of sunlight and quickly back to dark gray.
It was enough to keep the photographic mind busy!
Because of the existing conditions, I decided to abandon the up close abstracts I was searching for and to concentrate on some small high-key landscapes in and around the pond.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Adagio Series”

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Maybe not everyone’s taste, … but I enjoy creating them.
Give it a try sometime!

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

December 22, 2008 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, 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 | , , , , , | 8 Comments

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