Oliver Morton  

Fireworks by Oliver Morton

June 2022 - Fireworks

June 2022 - Oliver Morton


About the Image(s)

I'm scheduled to judge a camera club competition that has abstract as its theme. I've never been any good with abstracts and certainly haven't judged a competition with that as its topic. So, I thought the best way to begin getting ready might be to take/make a few abstract images myself. My first attempt was dismal... and discarded. I decided that a macro might be a good approach. I went into my yard and picked a dandelion, then set my camera to do focus bracketing. Next, I loaded the 105 images into Photoshop, cropped the resulting merged image, then converted it to B&W using Camera Raw. The final steps were done with Topaz DeNoise AI and Topaz Sharpen AI.

Data: Canon R5; 100mm macro lens; 1/100 sec; f/13; ISO 12800.

12 comments posted

LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
I love your abstract blowball, Oliver! You will have no problem judging an abstract theme since you have experience taking the Image Evaluation course! Use the Art Elements and Design Principles, and you will blow them away with your critiques!

I think your subject is excellent in black and white; it captures my attention immediately. You have apparent lines, shapes, patterns, and positive space (art elements) in your photo. The design principles I see you have used include balance, contrast, and pattern (pattern in Design Principles repeats the line, shape, and pattern from the art elements); I see movement in the tiny hairs of the seed heads, and there is a regular rhythmic repetition and unity in how the seed heads float as a single unit in the breeze.

We have lots of dandelions in the fall on our property, so I have to capture more. You have inspired me to get out and shoot!

Thanks for sharing!

LuAnn   Posted: 06/01/2022 14:06:14
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Thank you, LuAnn. I was pleased with the B&W version of this image since to me it became exciting to have all of the nearly-repeating shapes. I think it would have been a bit boring if all of the dandelion seeds were identical... but nature took care of that.

As you said, it's time to get out and shoot now that Spring/Summer are here and the pandemic is much more controlled.

  Posted: 06/03/2022 20:38:26

Emil Davidzuk   Emil Davidzuk

The common everyday dandelion, the bane for all home owners trying to get great lawns becomes a photo work of art.

I love what you did, the focus stacking with a macro lens really brings it home for me.

Too bad you can't enter this shot

I saw another shot of a dandelion shot recently on Facebook in which the artist had some of seeds in the air near the seed head they had been part. I would love to try it but the seed head would be bare

Nicely done

Emil   Posted: 06/03/2022 14:26:24
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Thank you, Emil. Like you, I've seen some wonderful dandelion photographs. One of the challenges these days is to photograph something that's been photographed 100's or thousands of times... and to make it different. This is harder and harder to achieve, in large part because of the amazing capabilities of smartphones.   Posted: 06/03/2022 20:42:14

Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
Hi Pete,
Beautiful image, a terrific pattern shot. You did a wonderful job stacking. You've almost convinced me that I am looking at a bunch of sparklers.

Well done!

Bunny   Posted: 06/03/2022 16:54:15
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Thank you, Bunny. I did a small amount of focus stacking in the past with my DSLR. But, I've found that my relatively new mirrorless camera makes the process surprisingly simple. I think (and hope) that this will open up lots of new possibilities.

  Posted: 06/04/2022 07:44:31
Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
My local camera club just had a focus stacking workshop for its members. It really has become easy using the most modern digital cameras. No need for a focus rail or lengthy shooting sessions! I had used Helicon Focus and manual capture in the past, but after that workshops I learned that my camera has focus bracketing and that even PS can stack suitable. You have inspired me to try more stacking.   Posted: 06/04/2022 09:51:43
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
I'm glad you're interested in trying focus stacking. (Know anyone who wants to buy a focus rail? lol) The possibilities are tremendous and, as you noted, it's now quite straightforward with modern digital cameras and Photoshop. Enjoy!

  Posted: 06/04/2022 10:58:03

Bob Legg   Bob Legg
A very nice creative image Pete. I'd never have the patience to shoot all of those images of the same subject. I like the repetition in the image and that the frame is filled with practically all sharp lines and they make a beautiful composition. The NVACC just held their Abstract competition and they have hundreds of images in their gallery that might provide ideas for you. Your image is closer to the creative side as it might be easily identified. According to Joseph Miller and others an abstract should NOT have a recognizable subject.   Posted: 06/03/2022 20:24:49
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Bob, as I mentioned in my reply to Bunny, my current mirrorless camera makes focus stacking much easier and faster than it was in the past. Personally, I was amazed. I set the camera to enable Focus Bracketing, indicated the number of images, then focused on the closest point and touched the shutter. All 105 images were taken in 10 seconds! At first I thought I must have done something wrong. lol

Thank you for your nice compliments!

  Posted: 06/04/2022 07:48:36

Israel Yosef   Israel Yosef
Hi Pete,
I like B&W.
Interesting idea.
It's hard for me to add something to the previous comments,
but i know what a great job you have done since i love macro photography it is very very hard work.

Well done.
Well done Pete.


Israel   Posted: 06/04/2022 02:14:26
Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Thank you, Israel. The new camera technologies make focus stacking for macros a MUCH easier process. (Please see my reply to Bob.)

Since lines, shapes, and textures are so critical in B&W photography, something like a macro of a dandelion seems to be a natural subject.

  Posted: 06/04/2022 07:51:58


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