There is a school of thought that says that all good human design is derived from patterns in nature, and that we have a natural sympathy for objects that echo what we see around us in the natural world. Indeed, even the most abstract of human creations, be it painting, architecture, or simple tools, all seem to stem from what nature has taught and revealed. The subject of this month’s Picture This! assignment is Patterns in Nature, where we requested readers to go out and find those most pleasing, often intricate, and quite mysterious designs that we discover in the natural world and reveal through composition, lighting, and point of view with our cameras.
Prismatic Hot Springs
These springs in Yellowstone offer amazing contrasts of color, light, and atmosphere, as captured here by Jim Ullrich with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a 24-105mm L lens. Exposure was f/11 at 1/800 sec at ISO 400.
© Jim Ullrich
Ronald G. Marvin’s photo of this sunflower combines color, composition, and a revelation of one of the most intricate and beautiful designs in nature. Exposure with a Sigma DP1 was f/5 at 1/60 sec.
© Ronald G. Marvin
Wind is the sculptor of these sand dunes in Death Valley. Marcus W. Reinkensmeyer made this photo at sunset with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor AF-S 12-24mm lens and a B+W polarizer with the rig atop a Gitzo G1325 tripod. Exposure was f/14 at 1/20 sec.
© Marcus W. Reinkensmeyer
Jim Kendall made this photo in the waters of Bonaire, Netherland Antilles, with a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 105mm lens in an Ikelite housing using Inon strobes. A +1 diopter was inside the housing with a removable wet diopter on the end of the lens housing. Exposure was f/20 at 1/80 sec.
© Jim Kendall
Greg Tucker set up his Nikon D200 and Nikkor 70-180mm lens so that it was as parallel as possible to the fern and awaited the rising sun to illuminate the fronds.
© Greg Tucker
Jellyfish In Sand
Looking all the world like a comet streaking through the night sky, Jim Gavin made this photo of “rain, sand, jellyfish, and the effects of the Pacific Ocean” at Long Beach, Washington, with a Canon PowerShot G10.
© Jim Gavin
What could be a macro shot is actually an aerial view of Alaska from 36,000 feet made by John Elonover Jr. with a Kodak single-use film camera.
© John Elonover Jr.
Gerald Swede photographed this plant at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikkor 16-85mm VR lens. Exposure was f/11 at 1/60 sec at ISO 400.
© Gerald Swede
Frank Lawson wrote: “I was struck by the mirror-like pattern of the two gentoo penguins as well as the bold pattern of their formal get-ups.” Exposure with a Canon EOS 50D and a 70-200mm f/4L IS lens was f/7.1 at 1/200 sec at ISO 200.
© Frank Lawson
All the intricacy of design and variation in texture and tone of this tree in Banff National Park was captured by Jeff Signorini with a Canon EOS 50D and an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens. Exposure was f/4 at 1/20 sec.
© Jeff Signorini
The proliferation of plants in the field creates a rhythm of design and color in this photo by Rich Leon. He worked with a Pentax K-r and an 80-320mm lens.
© Rich Leon
This monochrome image of dunes is tonally rich and visually sensual. Robert Oliver photographed with a Chamonix 4x5 camera and a Nikkor 90mm f/8 lens on Kodak T-Max 100 film with an exposure of f/64 at 1/4 sec.
© Robert Oliver
The intricate pattern formed by frost on a window pane was captured by Linda Witteveen with a Nikon D90 and an AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm lens with an exposure of f/32 at 1/13 sec.
© Linda Witteveen
Queen Anne’s Lace
Debra Kreider made this photograph from underneath the plant to give us this unique point of view into an even more intricate pattern. Exposure with a Nikon D40 and a 55-200mm zoom was f/10 at 1/30 sec.
© Debra Kreider
Glacier Park Wall
The abstract expressionist painters must have learned all from the natural world, as evidenced by this photo of a wall painted by nature in Glacier National Park. Exposure with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i with an EF-S 18-135mm lens was f/4.5 at 1/50 sec at ISO 200.
© Paul S. Wilson
Wallace Johnson captured this amazing form created by fire at the Eternal Flame at President Kennedy’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery. It looks, he wrote, like “a man charging forward carrying a flame or a torch.” Exposure with a Nikon D300S and a Tamron 18-270mm lens was f/6.3 at 1/2000 sec.
© Wallace Johnson
Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
At The Flea Market
The setups at flea markets and yard sales can seem like they were tailor-made still life setups for photographers. How you frame and the disparate subjects you include in your frame speak to both your eye and your comment on the stuff we all seem to collect. This month’s Picture This! assignment, “At the Flea Market,” is all about composition, form, and color and how all come together in those found moments you come across along the way. This photo was made with a Canon EOS 40D and an exposure of f/8 at 1/160 sec at ISO 100.
© George Schaub
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Our next topic: Silhouette
Deadline: April 15, 2012
Publication Date: July, 2012
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