"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

Hitler Rants About The Nikon D3X!

Nothing about macro this time, … but this is absolutely hilarious! : )

“Hitler Rants About The Nikon D3X”

December 8, 2008 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 | 7 Comments

“Do The Flip-Flop”, … With Your Macro Images.

You have edited all of your images, finished your key-wording, etc.
All images are in their proper place.
The phone is not ringing.
You are feeling the creative urge and want to go shooting, but maybe your body is telling you that it is time to take a break from shooting.
Maybe it’s simply cold outside, and you don’t feel like taking on the big chill at the moment.
You want to do something, … but have not nailed it down yet as to what you would like to do, … or to try.

Just sit down at your computer with your favorite drink, … maybe some of your favorite music playing in the background, … start going through your archive of images, … and do some “flip-flops”!
I have years worth of images that I can look at, and many of them that I have never played with using Photoshop or other programs to see if something quite different will come about.
Often times while doing this, I will come up with different ideas that I would like to try while out in the field shooting.
It helps to keep the mind fresh.

One thing that I will often do with a given image, is simply to try some inversions, … or to “flip-flop” the image with its colors.
I can flip-flop that image, then play with various colors, saturations, contrast, … whatever comes to mind, just to see what I can come up with.
Some images simply do not work out very well with those flip-flops, … but some can work out really well, allowing your mind to explore other areas within the various programs/software that you have on your hard drive.

Always allow yourself some “play time”.
Personally, I think that this is very important when one wants to advance their skills while out in the field or sitting in front of that computer.
Just play, … and sometimes, … the more funkier you get, … the more you learn!

This image below was inverted (flip-flopped) from the original, then adjusted in Photoshop using some desaturation and selective coloring.
I often like working with a darker image, then during the flip-flop, it sometimes will give off more of a high-key look.
Simple, … and easy to do.

© 2004 – Michael Brown
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“Dahlia”

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Original Image
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So, ….. game on, ….. and have some fun with your images!
Hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, and thanks for stopping by!
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature”

November 26, 2008 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, flora, flowers, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, nature, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | 3 Comments

Something That Has Changed In My World Of Macro.

And just what is it that has changed in my world of macro, … and changed in a dramatic way?
Well, … damn, ….. I sure do get cold real easy it seems!
I have always enjoyed shooting no matter what season I am in, but lately, I long for spring and summer to last a bit longer.
It’s true. The older you get, … the colder you get.
My feet, my head, my hands, … all seems to suffer here in South Carolina.
I often wonder if I could handle what I see photographers putting up with farther north.
I doubt it!

My youngest son and I were out in the swamps the other day on a short 6 mile hike.
It was brisk, cold, … but beautiful on this day.
I was scanning a large batch of sweet smelling and rotting fruit that had fallen to the ground from the canopy of trees, pretty much down on my stomach with the macro.
My son was about 20ft way, looking through his macro at something low to the ground.
A gust of wind arrives, coming along the ground at a nice clip and over the waters within the swamp, right towards the top of my head.
I thought I was covered well with my clothing.
I let out a fairly loud sound which sounded somewhat like a owl because that wind found a opening, right behind my head and down into the neck area.
Then I said to myself (regarding that wind), “down my back right to my crack”.
I suddenly developed chill bumps the size of silver dollars on my butt cheeks!
I had never felt a rush like that from the cold winds. Never!

But, it was the laughter from my son that echoed throughout the swamp that really caught my attention. He had heard what I said.
A father, … his son, … having a good time together out on a hike, and something happened and was said that gave this young man some uncontrollable laughter. He sounded almost like a crazy person.
It is something that was said that probably would not have had the same kind of effect with someone else, but it really hit him good. It was a memorable moment for him that brought even more laughter later that day, and even that night as he told his mom all about it. Of course, she just rolled her eyes.
I guess it was simply a father/son thing. A “man” thing.
Buddying up with those who share the same kind of passion as you is a wonderful thing.
And then sometimes there are those “cherry on top” moments that occur, such as what happened on this day.
My son had a good laugh because of his dad, and his dad’s heart was warmed over on that day by the sound of his son’s laughter.
And, … it all started from the wind.

The image below is from a season that I seem to enjoy a bit more lately as I get older.
And also, … I have now decided to ask for some super thick socks for Christmas! : )
(I’m no good anymore when my feet get real cold!)

© 2005 – Michael Brown
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“Swallowtail Butterfly”

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Everyone take good care of yourself, … stay warm, … and thanks for stopping by.
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

November 21, 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, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 13 Comments

“The Watcher”

My youngest son and I had decided the day before to get up early and head out to the Congaree Swamp National Park.
The weather forecast called for cloudy weather, which was perfect for what I had in mind.
But, … not a cloud in the sky from the moment we got up and on to sundown.
A “blue sky” day for sure!

We headed for a area where I new there would be plenty of shade, shade produced by the largest remnants of old-growth floodplain forest remaining on the continent. State and national tree records are held in this national park!
Before leaving the boardwalk and getting onto the backwoods trail where I wanted to photograph some reflections of fall colors in the tea colored waters, I decided to create some up close abstracts from the leaves that were along side the boardwalk.

Down on my stomach, head and camera along with the Lensbaby only about a foot away from the oily waters, I started to compose.
The very first view that I had, I noticed something in the middle of the frame which seemed a bit odd.
It looked like a figure, a person, … someone who was standing in the dark and oily waters, … watching me.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
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“The Watcher”

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I kept thinking about that very first image of the day, and was anxious to see that image on my screen when I got home.
Here is a part of the image cropped and enlarged.

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Looking at the original on the screen, I could see the area that possibly could look like a face.
Then I cropped and enlarged the area even more.
Whoa!

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On this day, I had certain ideas in mind for images I wanted for my files.
On this day, every where that I turned, there was something that I had never experienced before in this swamp.
On this day, it turned out that it was the best creative day I’ve ever had in this swamp.
On this day, … I could not help but to wonder, …… what was leading me to these intriguing spots?
What was telling me on this day to abandon all that I knew?

Only moments after this image was created, the waters of the swamp had slowly moved bits and pieces around to where this image looked drastically different, … and that figure in the waters of the swamp, was now gone.

Maybe the Watcher wanted to move on, urging my son and I to follow.

Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature”

November 9, 2008 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 | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Fall Macro Photography. Love It!

Ah yes!
Fall time photography, when so many think that those possibilities have dwindled down to near zero, … that is the time when I will try to turn things up a notch. Spring is not the “only” macro season!
That late day sun for some small leaves and spent grasses along the pond, the fall colors reflecting in the waters with the wind helping to create small and somewhat tight ripples of color and your macro lens only inches above the water, capturing those colorful macro abstracts in the water, and then the use of what nature has given you and piled on top of a lightbox indoors.
Fall, … leading into winter, … seems to get some individuals who enjoy macro to get themselves into a creative funk.
There is absolutely no reason for it.
Now is the time to try something different from the norm!

The two images below that were created during the fall season, are simple examples of what can be done.
One created along the side of a pond, and then a colorful abstract created within the tea color waters of the Congaree Swamp National Park here in South Carolina.
Fun, … easy to do, ……. so why not go for it?

© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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Here are some links leading to some absolutely wonderful work that I have discovered over the past few weeks, some that I have enjoyed for the very first time, and some that I have not visited for a while but really love what they have accomplished recently.

Mark Adamus and his site “TimeCatcher”, … he’s still producing some stunning landscapes!
UK photographer “Adam Burton” and his landscapes from various areas such as Antarctica, Argentina, New England, New Zealand, Scotland, Norway, … and more. Awesome!
BBC Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Andy Biggs, and after having a bit of a chat with him over the phone the other day, a “down to earth” kind of guy, shows why he is absolutely one of the best in the world at what he does. It does not get much better than this!
And personally, … I think that “William Neill” is a photographer that others can not only enjoy his work, … but should study it. His work I can breathe in!!

Well, … outta here gang!
Hope everyone is getting along fine, and thanks for visiting.

Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

November 7, 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, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 6 Comments

“Eruption” – Ancient Landscapes Series

“The greatest teacher on the use of light in photography, … is the light itself.”
M.B.

Often, I can look through the viewfinder of the camera and become instantly entranced with what I see when looking at certain rocks and minerals.
With some of those cut slabs of rock, it is almost as if I am viewing the world as it existed millions of years ago, and a image of that landscape that was captured within the rock itself.
It can become absolutely intriguing to one’s thoughts!
It is also something that I will always get in the world of macro photography. “Intrigue”

The image below and one included in my “Ancient Landscapes” Series, was created from one of the many “agate” slabs that I have on hand.
It reminds me of an eruption that might have occurred millions of years ago, when the existing land was barren of any vegetation, deadly gases rising into the air, stars twinkling in the sky.
I would imagine, and would like to believe, that during all those millions of years here on earth, there was a scene somewhere that looked just like this.
Possible? Who knows, … but I like dreaming!

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

Everyone take care, … and thanks for stopping by.
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

October 13, 2008 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, gems, 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 | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Photographing Grass, “The Focal Cram”. How I Approach This Subject.

And just how do I approach photographing grass in the field?
It is very easy to do, … and so I created this computer rendering for you to look at which is very close to what I was viewing the other day while out in the field.
This rendering helps to somewhat show the distances between certain areas that I was photographing. (About 20 feet)
I did not spend a great deal of time with this rendering, so of course the grasses, tree, shrubs, etc., are not all that accurate for its texture, size, and so on, … but it is very accurate to the overall layout that I was seeing.
The rendering was created with “Vue 6 Esprit”.

You can click on the image below for a larger view along with the numbered areas.

You can look at the image to see where I have the camera/lens placement.
I simply put down a small tarp to sit on in front of that first layer/row of grass, put out my gear on the tarp, put the small cooler down, got down to ground level to study my surroundings, and then decided to start shooting.
For the images below, I either used the Canon 100-400mm or the older 75-300mm lens, … depending on which lens my youngest son swiped to go off in his hunt for insects.
For these types of images, I prefer the sun to be behind the subject area but still sort of high in the sky, as I am shooting through the grassy areas and that grass will already give me plenty of diffusion.
I normally shoot with the lens wide open, adjusting the setting of the lens for detail when my tastebuds change, … but usually it is only a slight change.
Also, because of shooting wide open and the usual amount of light that is available, I will almost always hand hold the camera which gives me so much freedom while searching for the all important compositions.

Now, the first image below.
This image was created while shooting through the existing grass in area #1, and the subject area is the grassy area located between #2 and #3.
The camera/lens position is low to the ground, shooting through existing grass for diffusion, and allowing a small area in #1 to be more open in front of the lens, which allows more details in the white seed that has been caught up in the blades of grass.
Low to the ground, shooting through the blades of grass for some diffusion, overhead but slightly behind backlighting, gave me a interesting scene to play with.
The very thin blades of grass in the background, along with some golden areas of light from above, is always a hit with me!

© 2008 – Michael Brown
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Grass #1

The second image was created by shooting through the grass of area #1, focusing in on the front edge of area #3, and slightly backing off on the focus to create a look with less detail.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
Grass #2

The third image was created simply by moving the camera to the right side of area #1 in a area with less grass to shoot through, pointing the lens in the area of #4, and focusing at the front edge of the grass line. It looks very similar to Grass #2, particularly with the light.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
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Grass #3

The fourth image was created by raising the camera above area #1, pointing the lens in between the areas of #6 and #7 to get a touch of shadow and highlight areas, and then backing off on the focus ever so slightly.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
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Grass #4

The fifth image was created right from ground level and by shooting up through the grassy area of #1, pointed upwards through the areas of #4 and #5 for even more diffusion, and into the shrub area of #8 with its overhanging branches.
There were absolutely no details that could have been achieved within this image.
The image was flipped horizontally, because my tastebuds wanted it that way!

© 2008 – Michael Brown
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Shrub #1

Then, … when you think that the day is done, … and you have seen everything there is to see, … that is when you see something that has been there all along, … about 4 feet away.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
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“Argiope Spider”

The idea of shooting through foliage with a wide open lens in order to obtain that blurred/soft look for your subject is nothing new, … but something that has been ignored by many for awhile.
You can also do this with a smaller lens, and using my now famous “Cram It” method, (you may laugh now), or use a longer focal length like the two lenses mentioned above to do the “Focal Cram”. Another one of my old terms! : )
Finally, I think that the choice of areas to shoot is very important.
Choose areas like you see above in the rendered image with open areas, some shadow and highlighted areas, areas of thick vegetation, some thin areas of vegetation, etc.
You must give yourself a chance!
Give yourself a chance to find the light and interesting subjects and compositions all in one place.
Planning ahead is a good thing!

Okay, ….. enough of my mouth.
Hope that this particular post can give someone some ideas to try.
It is sort of hard to explain it within e-mails, so I thought I would come up with something like this.

Everyone take care,
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

October 8, 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 | , , , , , | 15 Comments

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