Tag Archives: color

Do You Have A Dragonfly Yet?

Living in the tropics the amount of insects and other assorted creatures you find is just staggering.   Most of them are not very photogenic.   However, every once in a while you run into the sort of small insect that screams for a photograph.  A dragonfly remains one of the best examples I know.

Thus, I proudly introduce you to the latest in our dragonfly collection. Blue Dragonfly is a portrait capture of a male Pondhawk in all his beauty. That is unless your another insect, for these voracious hunters prey on smaller insects they capture with the their ability to fly at speeds of 30 mph or more.

Adding a little filter action to the scene produces the remarkable orange background. Funny enough, the background for this shot was actually orange. All the filter did was enhance a little more of this amazing color all the while bringing out the dramatic blue.

Blue Dragonfly
Blue Dragonfly

The hardest part of the filter process was the maintaining of those fragile wings.   A dragonfly’s wings have a very thin, almost completely translucent quality to them. Changing the filter to enhance certain colors would invariably end up transforming the unique properties of those special wings. Indeed it was a challenge that ended with some surprisingly pleasant results.

In the end, when this radiant blue dragonfly with it’s gossamer wings resting peacefully on a flower appeared before my camera I took the opportunity to snap it up.   An act I’m confident you’ll want to do too.

 

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Discover the Energy of the Lions

Blue Lion is the first in a dual picture set. Red lion is the other picture offered in the set . Meant to go together side by side, the details and colors of these two lions bring up the energies found in fire and water.

Both elements are clearly lions of the elemental world. They both contain a primal cleansing function and are equally feared by man. Lions represent the sheer force and power of nature in action and these statues summon an example of that ferociousness.

Blue Lion
Blue Lion
Red Lion
Red Lion

With the blue hue representative of the water element and the red hue a symbol of fire, we seek and find an energy balance between these giants of the natural world.

Whether you are seeking to enhance the Feng Shui flow of energy found in fire or water or just seeking a powerful dual statement of protection, these lions will look equally good protecting a doorway or projecting color into a room.

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The Draw of Red Hibiscus

Visiting the tropical gardens of Florida are among one of my favorite places to go to. The endless carousing up and down long corridors of tropical greenery provides ample opportunity for a person to get back to nature.

Between one such corridor of tangled shrubs and brilliant flashes of floral thunder stood this exquisite hibiscus.   In full bloom this flower assaulted the air with both fragrance and a wonderful red hue.

Instantly,  the artist in me became delighted at capturing the image of this fragrant beauty. As pretty as this flower was, I still felt that perhaps it lacked something. Oh it was a stunning picture in its own right and processing it was a joy. But, I wasn’t happy with the total feel of the picture.

Red Hibiscus
Red Hibiscus

The color of the red flower on a deep-sea of leafy green sent an idea into my head. Why look at this botanical beauty through traditional black and white? So, I placed a deep red filter over the image and the results were magical.

The deep red punches through the various isolating influences of the green leaves and really pushes the actual flower to the limit of our visual acceptance. The petals of the red colored flower suddenly turn a red tinged highway of visible lines bursting forth from the center maw of the open flower.

The flower became a true apiary sign post inviting the delicate caresses of petals and pollen. A hidden beauty in it’s own right waiting for the right discovery.

Red Crowned Crane: A Splash of Color Makes the Difference.

This incredible bird is a Red Crowned Crane. Cranes are birds of elegance and beauty that very few other species can match. The natural colors for the bird are simply a bright red crest on its head, a blackened color plumage to the face and a long, tall elegant body with further white plumage.

Red Crowned Crane
Red Crowned Crane

As you can see, it’s not very far off what this work intends to demonstrate. However, placing a black and white filter over the bird allows the bringing out of  finer nuances in the beak and head area. You see detail that would otherwise be lost to color. So, in an essence you gain parts of the image by promoting black and white.

This also works the other way around.  The black and white filtering of the image causes the background to disappear in a sea of darkness.  The result is a loss of distractions from the subject of the work and adding visual stimulus from the clashes of the white feathers of the bird against the black unseen background.

Normally, this opposition of black and white would take over the photo. But what makes this crane stand out, what grabs the viewer’s attention more than any other aspect, is the brilliant red color of its crest.

I took a chance by introducing the color to a black and white image.   Adding color to a black and white work of art has become very commonplace in photographic art communities. Generally though, like HDR style photographs, overproduction of these colored images has led to a bit of abuse.  More often than naught, the artist will color in a wide swath of the picture to try to highlight a large feature like a car or bus. Usually, the object takes up so much of the picture it becomes unclear why the artist changed it to black and white in the first place.  But in our case, the bird only needed that small flush of brilliancy.  So the overall effect of the color is a punch of visual impact that centers the bird as the sole object of attention. The impression is cleanly made.

To overdo the color in an image destroys the artistic flair of creating the black and white image in the first place.   It is proof of the concept that a little burst of color goes a long way to developing something special.

See the rest of the show here.

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The Making of “Peahen”

As an artist I love color, but as a photographer I am more inclined to rest with black and white images. There is one problem with this contradiction. What do I do as a photographic artist when faced with an image that belongs in color?

Birds are an excellent example of this issue. Some birds, like a mockingbird or a sparrow only really consist of browns and greys. While they are quite beautiful in their own right, yet as a flashing example of color they fall, for the lack of a better word, flat.

Therefore, black and white photography can help with those images by concentrating on the various non-color related details such as the texture of their feathers and the shapes of their bodies.

Peahen
Peahen

However, certain subjects such as a peahen artistically require color.   The various pigments and light reflecting qualities of their feathers just scream for a more color oriented focus than a simple black and white focus will deliver.

This carefully considered contrast between the elegant black and white and the strikingly beautiful color image of this peahen was forefront in my mind upon its creation. Therefore I rested with a colored technique that highlights the colorful aspects of the bird yet also maintains that certain elegance and style that a black and white photograph would produce.

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