"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

Your “Aminus3” Photoblog, … and other blogs

Could someone possibly tell me what is it with Aminus3 Photoblogs?
Every time I visit someone with a blog from Aminus3, it tells me that I can not leave a comment unless I enable cookies.
It does this on every single Aminus3 site!
I thought that I could go to the Aminus3 main site and enable cookies there which would cover all Aminus3 sites, … but that does not work.
There are a lot of people using Aminus3 now, many that I visit and would like to leave a comment, but I can not and will not go into my system’s preference to enable cookies on every single site.
That is crazy!

As far as Blogger, … or Blogspot?
During the past few years, I have signed up twice with them just so I could leave a comment.
Now it seems that “almost” every time I visit one of these sites, it will ask me to sign up again, … and not letting me leave a comment unless I do sign up.
This I will not do neither.

What’s up with these new blogs coming about.
Something I don’t know?
A lot of you guys I do visit, … but can’t leave any comments what so ever!

I did write for help from the Aminus3 main site, … but not a word from them.
Unfortunately, … Blogger and Blogspot I don’t trust anymore for anything!

Michael

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

June 25, 2009 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, nature, outdoors, paintings, photoblog, photography, photoshop, wordpress | , , , , | 18 Comments

Daffodil Foliage – Macro Abstract.

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

“Daffodil Foliage” – Abstract

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March 2, 2007 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, wordpress | , , , , , | 10 Comments

“No Strings Foundation”, Photography Grants, & “Will My Ticket Ever Get Punched?”

Yes, I have been working hard over the past 3 years to build up a large file of images in hopes of getting out there on my own and doing some good with something that I dearly love. Even with working with two art buyers now and a couple of clients, I still wonder if as much will come of my photography as I hope that it will. As much as I have been plugging away at it, I wonder if my ticket will ever get punched. I sometimes wonder if I am wasting my time!269_6974b1bnsnp7blog.jpg

The other night I was messing around on the internet, and decided to look up what type of photography grants are available today.
Wow, … there are quite a few out there to be had!

Well I looked, and looked, and did some more looking.
Many grants are for those who shoot entirely different material than what I shoot.
There were grants available for just what I do shoot.
Funny thing is, … just about every single grant that is out there is for someone who is still in school, or under the age of 25.
I guess there is not anyone out there who provides these grants who thinks that there are some great photographers who are shooting some fantastic material, … but who simply got a later start than most. The older crowd can’t cut it or something?
Seems like “everything” is geared towards the young, … no matter what it is!
Hey, … there will be no slapping the young from me, but damn!

I don’t mind saying it because I am comfortable with what I do, … and that is, that I know that I have a pretty darn good eye, very creative, I “do care” which is something that most of the older photographers have a firm grasp on, but, I’ll be damned, … I’m 50!

I guess I am pretty much washed up before I even get started, at least that is the way that some may see it!
The first 6 “large” grants I looked at, 3 were for those who were 21 or under, 2 was for 25 and under, and one was for 26 and under. Just one of those was a grant for those who still had to be in college.
So, as far as grants go in helping one to get over that hump in their photography, and most people who are over a quarter century old can forget it, no matter how good you are!

Oh man, ………. but wait. Check this grant out! A $25,000 grant to be used in any way that you see fit to use it, … even to paint your house if you wish!!263_6340j1nsnp2blog.jpg
When my eyes came across this one, it was like the kid in class who new the all important answer to the most difficult question and he was ready to impress the teacher.
I was raising my hands, shouting “me, me”, “over here, … me, me!”
It is the “No Strings Foundation” which caught my eye and got me all excited, … only to quickly make my shoulders sink back down below my waist line when reading about the “no application” and the “secret panel” who makes those choices for the grants!
Still, this is a awesome way for photographers to get over the hump, but only if those who makes the selections know who you are or someone puts a word in for you.
Read it on PDN. Very cool!
And, … if any of you know anyone on this secret panel, … put in a good word for ol’ Mikey!

Yes, a grant like that would do the trick, and help to get that ticket punched!
First thing I would do, is to buy my youngest son his own camera. At the age of 13, he has a awesome eye, and likes to shoot what I shoot. He deserves it! I am not only proud of him, … but a bit envious too!

I do need the money, because my wife left me and took the trailer.
Plus she took the new pickup truck and left me the old one.
I was so upset the other day when I left, that I accidentally ran over the dog with my truck.
Now I need some money to take him to the vet and get his leg fixed, cause if I don’t, he will be down to just one leg.
It is not easy for him to take a dump with two legs, and I simply can’t let him go through life trying to take a dump with one. I love my dog!

And also, I could use the money for food.
Those 6 for $1.00 TV dinners are now 4 for $1.00. That sucks!
Every day, somebody is making it hard for me to get by.
And those meals that I sometimes fix that calls for a half cup of water, well, I now put 3 cups of water so I can now have some leftovers to put in the fridge.
Damn, … I’ma hungry guy huh? A hungry artist/photographer?
And I ain’t going to say how my dog lost the first two legs neither. I can’t help it if he had a lot of good meat on them!!!

LoL!
I am just trying to keep a sense of humor in my life, and even with my photography.
Again, after years of working at it, studying it, and shooting it, … I think that I am pretty damn good at what I do. I am comfortable saying it out loud too!
If my ticket ever gets punched with my photography, then that’s great.
If my ticket does not get punched, I will still enjoy doing what I am doing now, ….. and maybe stop gritting my teeth as much! :)

And after all of that has been said and the rough times I have had, … life is still good!

Oh man, ………. I forgot to check my lottery ticket from last night!
Bye!!

All Images:
© 2002 – 2007 Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

(This post does not have the original “Blogger” comments, as they would not automatically transfer when the move was made to “WordPress”.)

July 13, 2006 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, wordpress | 3 Comments

Adding Space To A Image In Photoshop Using The “Free Transform” Tool

Ever wished that you had just a touch more room on the side, or maybe even the top of a image but you just did not know what you could do about it?
The “Free Transform” tool in Photoshop could do the trick for you, helping you to possibly save a few images that you just might normally trash.
Here is just two examples of what you can do with portraits, nature images, product images, etc., and some of the steps needed to transform and save some of your images.

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

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“Free Transforming” in Photoshop is simply taking a image that you need some additional room, and transforming or adding some space to the top or sides of the image. It is sort of like a quick clone in Photoshop.
This works very well if you have a fairly smooth, clean area that does not show much detail and/or features. I am using this image of a flower with some slightly blurred details in the background just to show you how it can work with some hint of blurred features/details.
The last example used is of a insect, one that had a smooth, clean background for its expansion.

Now, select your image.

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In Photoshop, (I use Photoshop CS), go to “Image” and down to “Canvas Size”.
Select the width, then add the size you want in inches or pixels.
Click on your anchor point, directing which side the canvas addition will move to.
Click OK.

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When you click OK, you will see the additional canvas that you added appear to the right side of the image.

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In your toolbar area, (left side), select the “Rectangular Marquee Tool” that should be at the top.
Select a area of your image with the Marquee tool, and making sure you do not select any of the main subject, or an area with lots of details. Select a area that is clean.
On your keyboard, use “control – T” while clicking inside of your marquee selection.
A box will appear, and you move down to “Free Transform”. Click on that.
Small boxes will appear on the lines of your marquee selection. Grab one and pull/drag it in the direction that you would like to transform that area to.
Double click inside the transformed area. After that, you may need to click one time outside of your selected/transformed area.

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Here you can see how easy you can extend a image, and how it can stretch your image and how it effects a background with hints of details in the background.

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

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This next image is one with a much smoother, cleaner background. With a image such as this one, you could add lots of space on the right side, making this image into an extreme pano, … if one would wish to do so that is!
This one is a simple example, … and so easy to do.

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

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

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So, if you ever find yourself wishing that the petal was not so close to the edge and need more room, or you nearly cut your childs ear off and need some additional room on the side to make the image more pleasing to look at, … this can really help!

Hope this Photoshop tip works for you, and maybe it can help save some of those images that might need just a wee bit of help!

Take care gang!

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

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May 22, 2006 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, 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, wordpress | , , , , , | 20 Comments

“I Can’t” – A Photographer’s Phrase From Hell!

This is the post that caused the most private e-mails ever to arrive in my inbox! Happy to see that it did some good for others.

Stem & Foliage – Abstract
© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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Those two words, “I can’t”, is one of the most common phrases that you will hear from photographers or artists and especially from those who are just learning their craft. It is the phrase that will often bring a individual down into the depths of where they will never want to be. You will never get to where you want to be in photography if you continually and verbally speak those words. It is “not” a good thing!

Yet, … it just recently happened to me, but this is the image that brought me back from that hell!

It was the last few weeks of September and into October of 2005, that I found myself in one of the worst creative funks that I had ever experienced. At that time, I did not know what brought all of that on to me. Sitting in the chair, no urge to do anything really! I felt that I did not want to go out and shoot, not to get on the computer to do some much needed editing, not to visit my favorite photography forum, … it was a bit maddening. Things just did not seem right. Nothing seemed right! Things seemed to be so repetitive, even the dozen or so top news stories seemed to be repeated every 30 seconds on television. Was it depression? Depression can come at you in so many different ways and blind side you. But no, I don’t think that was the case here.

So what was the problem?
As I said, I was beginning to wonder if it was depression but then thought about how I did not hesitate to get out with my sons, to go out and play with the dog, talk with the neighbors, do a bit of gardening, … but I did not want to pick up a camera, … or did I?
Yes, deep down inside I realized that I wanted to shoot but found myself not being able to think about what to shoot, or how I would wanted to shoot something. Just could not concentrate on it at all!

One day I was sitting in the chair and listening to that news that simply kept repeating itself, when I looked over into the computer room and then looked at the camera bag sitting up on the desk. I thought to myself, … “I can’t”.
I cut the television off and sat there in silence for awhile, and it seemed that my dog Flash could sense that something was not right at all, as he jumped up into my lap and layed his head on my chest.
I kept thinking about how I would like to get out and shoot, but I can’t think of what to shoot or how I want to shoot, I can’t get myself in a creative mood, I can’t see any kind of vision at all of what I want to do in photography, ….. I can’t, …

Well damn it, “yes I can” I thought to myself. I then got up off my ass, went over to the bag and pulled out the camera and lens with a couple of reflectors and headed for the back door of the house. I stopped for a moment, and asked myself did I want to go out and see if I could find something that inspires me?
This is when I decided not to “hope” that I find something outside, but to “take” what was “given” to me, and to create from that.
I decided before I even opened up that door, that I was going to shoot the very first and closest thing at the bottom of the steps with foliage no matter what it was or what it looked like, shoot it creatively, and not come back inside until I had something that appealed to me.
I came across this lone plant at the bottom of those steps coming out of the ground and at about 4 or 5 inches in height. It was somewhat seperated from other little grasses/weeds. I noticed how it seemed to stand out. “I noticed”!
That was a part of my problem, “not noticing” things. My eyes were open but mind was not.
Couple that with those words from hell “I can’t”, and suddenly I realized that I had been in the worst of “burn outs” that I had ever known.
Not just in photography, but in anything that you long to do, those words “I can’t” can kill whatever goals and creative juices you may have. I honestly think that those words nearly did me in, at least in the world of photography.

I shot this small plant with different lenses, different lighting, some close, some from a distance and shooting it through other foliage, … I was creating again.
This image appealed to me.

This image here has shown me that “I can”. It has shown me that “I can” shoot whatever my visions are for a given subject. “I can” pick myself right back up after falling down. “I can” enjoy photography. “I can” enjoy creating again and “I can” have some fun. “I can” find beauty in this world of ours!
If you ever say those words “I can’t”, then you should also say to yourself “it’s only temporary”, because I know good and damn well that you can!

When I was a little kid and would tell my mom that “I can’t” do something, she would always say, “Can’t never could do anything”!

Please don’t ever tell me that you can’t do something!
Is 2006 your year? Can you do it? Can you get where you want to be in your photography? Can you be patient and simply work hard at it? Can you take “one step” at a time? Can you answer “yes” to all of these questions?

I can!

Well, ….. if there is one thing in this world though that “I can’t” do, that is, to cook like my mom!
She is surely a notch above most southern cooks!! : )

(This post does not have the original “Blogger” comments, as they would not automatically transfer when the move was made to “WordPress”.)

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

January 26, 2006 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, wordpress | , , , , , | 1 Comment

” A Final Gift “

“A Final Gift”
(Acorn)
© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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I decided that it was time to dismantle the area of the yard that was a magical place to be when my sons were young.
I was somewhat surprised at the feelings that ran through me as I started to take apart that old sandbox that they loved playing in.
Leveling and digging out the area, I found many little toys that had found their way beneath the sand, not to be seen again for many years. There were little toy cars, toy soldiers, airplanes, those little “Happy Meal” toys that some kids loved.
So many memories came back to me as I sat in the sand and looking at all of those little hidden treasures, and I decided to get the camera to take some shots of them as they were laying in the sand.
I took just a few shots, then put those little treasures in a bucket to save for the boys to look at when they got home from school.
I sat the bucket to one side and was fixing to get back to work when I noticed this little acorn off to the side of the sandbox.
I got down eye level with it to take a look, and decided to try some shots of it.
It was like I was looking at one final gift, from a area that gave so much.

My sons are 13 and 15 years old now, and I pulled out those other treasures of them playing in that sandbox that I had on film today.
Damn, ……. what a great day it turned out to be!

Michael Brown

* Originally posted at NatureScapes.Net, November 2005.

“Macro Art In Nature”

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December 17, 2005 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, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife, wordpress | , , , , , | 12 Comments

In Photography, … Do You Really Want Your Own Style?

So, you have often thought about your photography, where you are headed with it, and have dreamed about being proficient at what you do and to have a recognizable style.
I have been told before, that a person could tell my images from any others that they see.
Well hell, ….. that makes me feel good! I have done well, people have noticed, people appreciate it, and I now have a very noticeable style.

Hmmmmm!
Now, ….. what do I do now?
What would you do?
Do we sit back, continue to create what everybody seems to like very much, and ride off into the sunset with our wonderful style and all the glory that comes with it? Do we dare to stray away and try to find some new goals to achieve?
If we continue on that same path that has been a successful path, will others start to get a bit bored with it?

I’m not going to write a whole article here about it. I’ll just let it be something that you decide for yourself.
For myself, for now, I will continue to do what I like to do, and what others seem to enjoy viewing.
I will decide later what path I should take next, … if any.

“Reverie”
“In Their World” – Series
© 2005 – Michael Brown

* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

December 9, 2005 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, wordpress | , , , , , | 7 Comments

   

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