“If This then That”

Maybe you’re wondering what I mean with the title “If This then That”. Well many times when I see an object, which in this case is the (This), my mind immediately goes to the idea of (then That). Which translates into making that object an abstract. As some of you might know, I really love free flowing form!

During the fall there were many times I’d see really colorful trees, but not the kind that would make a beautiful macro, or even a full tree photograph. These trees or leaves were not without a lot of flaws, they might have been diseased, or maybe it was really low light as it was almost dark.

Here below are two examples of Β simple trees with fall color, and also two examples of the abstract motion blur images that I made out of those trees.

If you enjoy abstract photographs, then I think you’ll enjoy these!

 

Here are the fall leaves, I honestly have no clue what kind of tree this is.

"Fall Leaves"
“Fall Leaves”

 

Then this is “Pirouette”, a free form, flowing abstract.

"Pirouette"
“Pirouette”

 

These are yellow leaves of some sort, and red berries.

"Yellow Leaves and Berries"
“Yellow Leaves and Berries”

 

Then this is the golden yellow abstract I made called “Swirling Autumn”

"Swirling Autumn"
“Swirling Autumn”

If for some reason you’ve never tried any abstract photography, motion blur, tree panning, or anything with a longer shutter speed. I urge you to give it a try.
The subject certainly doesn’t have to be leaves or trees. You can literally take just about anything and make into something very free-form, light spirited, and fun!

Get out there and have a great time! πŸ™‚

 

 

“Colors of Abstract”

Tonight’s post is going to be a quick one. I haven’t had much of a chance to get out and do anything outdoors recently with the weather we’ve been having this winter, plus I am still processing tons of last years images.

Several days ago after seeing some beautiful oil and water macro images done by Beverly Everson, I decided to do some messing around with it myself. Here is the link to Beverly’s initial image that inspired me, which is very beautiful!: http://www.eversonphotography.com/2014/02/oil-and-water/

I was lacking in some of the essential items, but I decided to do it anyway. I came out with this and a bevy of other abstracts. None of them were quite what I had hoped, but they have a beauty of their own.

I wanted to get this one up for those people who had requested it, and for those that are also messing around with oil and water too.

I’ll be doing more of these in the future, but first I need to find some very good glass baking dishes, not the ones I bake brownies in! πŸ˜‰

 "Colors of Abstract" 1
“Colors of Abstract” 1

“Best of 2013”

As I have done for the past two years, this being the third year. I am posting my favorite, best, or most popular images of the year. Jim Goldstein has been gracious enough to host this for several years now.

This past year has been one of great change for me personally. My father passed away in the spring, which was a great loss for me.

At the same time in many ways it’s been a great year. I had more opportunity for travel, and was able to spend quite a bit of photography time during my favorite season…..autumn!!!

These images are from all through the year. Some are my personal favorites, others have been best sellers, while others represent special memories for me.

So in no particular order, I present this years. Best of 2013!

 "Maple Leaf Zen"
“Maple Leaf Zen”

 "Flow of Golden Ribbons"

"Ghostly Gales"
“Ghostly Gales”
 "Skies of Grand Marais"
“Skies of Grand Marais”
"Munising Falls"
“Munising Falls”
"Rolling with the Mack"
“Rolling with the Mack”
 "Spray at Whitefish Point"
“Spray at Whitefish Point”
"Fluttering Maple" 3
“Fluttering Maple” 3
 "Blue Ridge Bounty"
“Blue Ridge Bounty”
 "Autumn Spectacle"
“Autumn Spectacle”

These are 10 images. I could go on and on, especially in the autumn department LOL, but I will leave you with these to look at and enjoy.

As always if anyone is interested in purchasing a print, just click on the link in the menu bar, or the one on the right side of this post.

Wishing everyone the best in this coming new year!! πŸ™‚

“Autumnal Warmth in Abstract”

“Rustling Color”

-Rustling Color-

“Lively Rustling”

-Lively Rustling-

Every autumn when colors glow anew I always try to take as many images of the gorgeous foliage as possible. In addition to regular landscape or nature photography, I enjoy making motion blur abstracts.

Both of these images are from the same vibrant tree. Leaves ranging in color from gold to orange, green to brown,and red to yellow!!

I love the feeling of dancing, rustling, and swirling that these images evoke.

It may be just a few days away from official winter, and we may already feel as if we’re in the deep freeze in many places, So I offer to you some autumnal warmth for your eyes and soul!!

Enjoy! πŸ™‚

“Free Form”

Going back to last spring, we had an abundance of beautiful flowers and blossoms. Thanks in part to plenty of snow in winter, and lots of rainfall in early spring. I have just finished processing all of my floral images from that time period! Finally! πŸ˜‰

These two images are a Magnolia abstract. I first processed the color version, then decided it would do well as monochrome too.

I like them both equally. What do you think? Are the deep hues of pink and burgundy better with this subject, or does it take on a different quality in monochrome?

Enjoy! πŸ™‚

-Free Form-  mono

-Free Form-

“Solarization: A How To”

After doing several images recently, that were monochromatic in nature. I was asked by quite a few people just how I made the images. I thought I’d give a short explanation of what I did with this image.

This will give you a idea and an example of what you could achieve using this particular method in monochrome. This can be used in color also, but I was going for something very different in an abstract, and chose to go with monochrome.

In this first image of the lovely succulent, what I assume is a type of Aloe Vera. I initially imported in into Lightroom, made no adjustments at all, but sent it directly into Nik Color Efex Pro. There I gave it a standard tonal contrast, and boosted the highlights and saturation a bit. I then used the Solarization setting. I scrolled down to the first setting in monochrome in the row, (after already having experimented previously with other settings). I slid the slider for saturation from 50 back to 20, and then experimented with the time lapse slider setting until I was satisfied at 39. Doing this gave me what I wanted in general. I knew all it needed was just a bit more fine tuning.

I then sent it back into Lightroom and straight into Nik Silver Efex Pro on the standard setting. I then took the brightness and toned it down to -8, I changed the contrast by sliding the slider down to -4, and then boosted the structure just a bit up to +8. At that point I knew it was ready for some toning. I chose to go with number 4 Selenium. I like the Selenium a lot for certain images. It has a nice metallic shininess to it!

Finally after sending it back into Lightroom for the last time, I boosted the clarity up by +22, and the vibrance by +1, I also took the exposure down to -0.05. My image was then ready to export!

So, in the first image “Thorns of White”, you’ll see a pretty Aloe Vera plant of green, with red tips, and white spines or thorns growing all over it, almost like little teeth!

In the final version in which I had used solarization, the image is called “Thorns of Black”. As you can see it took on an almost metallic and shiny feel to it, with a smoother look in general. Also the thorns, or spines became black, which gives it a nice contrast!

I hope you enjoy these images. I certainly had a lot of fun working with them!!

Succulent- color version
Succulent- color version
Succulent using solarization and monochrome toning.
Succulent using solarization and monochrome toning.

“Octopus” mono

Well, when you look at this image you’ll probably guess that this is not an actual octopus. I decided to have a little fun and do a some experimenting in processing an Aloe Vera image.

Ideally I should show you the original and then this processed one, but I’m saving that for another time.

I was at our local conservatory a couple of weeks ago, and spent most of my time in the arid, desert climate section. One of the plants I took several shots of was an Aloe Vera.

I first took the image from Lightroom into Nik Color Efex Pro, where I added some toning and brilliance. Then I applied the solarization setting in a monochrome, and pushed the timelapse slider way past 50%. I’m not quite sure of the exact number right now.

I then sent it back into Lightroom bumped up the clarity a bit, and sent it into Nik Silver Efex Pro, where I did some fine tuning and added a selenium tone to it.

I really like the way it turned out. I know its not for everyone, but for something a bit different, and a pretty big take on an abstract in nature, I think it works well, and it does resemble an octopus!! πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoy the image!!

Abstract Photography
Abstract Photography

“Curving Light”

In a way I’m backing up a bit in this post. Still in abstract mode, but going auto, as in automobile!! πŸ™‚
Going back to January, and the time of the NAIAS in Detroit! Well as most of you know, at all these auto shows there are a ton of flashing multicolored lights everywhere, boat loads of people, and many other distractions that can make getting the shot you want of a car a bit hard.
I came away with plenty of nice shots, and even some of the SRT Viper, which is the car used in this image. I really loved the bright yellow, and the way the vents on the hood curve, soooo in addition to regular shots, I also got this one as an abstract.
Yes it is bright, shiny, full of light, flashy, and don’t forget, bright yellow….but that’s what it’s all about!! Right!! πŸ™‚
This car is really a totally cool sports car, and truth be told, when I was a child, I always wanted to own a bright yellow Porsche. Hhhmmm, I guess I could settle for the SRT Viper instead!! πŸ˜‰
How about you? What type of car did you want as a child?

Abstract of the automotive type!!
Abstract of the automotive type!!

“Green Green Grass”

In keeping with the theme of my last post I wanted to bring another motion blur abstract. It’s a lovely yet simple green image. It appears to be an image of beautiful windblown grass, and that’s exactly how I see it. You may see something else.
It was made in the same way with as I discussed before. Slower shutter speed, and motion while keeping the shutter open.
I usually use nature as my subject as I did in this case. It just might not be what you think it is! That’s the beauty and strength of an abstract!! πŸ™‚

Flowing, light filled, green abstract!
Flowing, light filled, green abstract!

“Abstracts using Motion Blur”

I have always been a fan of abstract images. Especially bright and colorful ones. By using in camera settings, like changing your shutter speed. You can achieve many beautiful abstract results.
These days it seems more common for people to use Photoshop or other forms of software to do the work for them. I know you can achieve dramatic results, and really change things around by using software to do motion blur, but for me, I like to do it the old fashioned way!
I have found the best results so far are with subjects like autumn leaves, spring flowers, trees, and other nature oriented items. Maybe that’s because I love nature! πŸ˜‰
My preferred method is to experiment with different slow shutter speeds while moving my camera in the direction of my subject moving, like for trees panning from the bottom of the tree to the top, or sometimes in other directions to create different types of effects according to the subject.
During autumn, many times the winds are so strong here that any type of typical fall foliage image is impossible, for example when the winds are gusting from 30-40 mph. Instead I use the flow and movement that already presents itself to me, to my advantage, which can create some beautiful results.
Besides using slow shutter speed with motion. I also on a rare occasion like to zoom out while slowing the shutter speed just a tad. This seems to work really well with trees and flowers!
The image here is a simple and colorful one from last fall. I love the flowing feel to this one, but I also like to make images that have more of a feathery, brush stroke, or wavy twisting look to them.
Anyway you do it, it’s fun, and you really can’t go wrong. If you like it, then that’s what matters!
I’m sure a lot of you have done these, but if you haven’t, and are looking for something different to do, then I’d say let go, and have some fun. You never know what you’re missing! Try some motion blur abstracts!! πŸ™‚

Abstract Photography using motion blur!
Abstract Photography using motion blur!