May 012008

Some time ago I’ve written that the world is fractal, which Ted Byrne found amusing, but essentially that’s what it is: Even if you believe you know a region (like I certainly do in case of my home Carinthia), you only have to look around the next corner to see something completely new. And even if you don’t, even if you look at the same things again and again, you can always see them from different angles, different distances, giving you new perspectives, and even if all this is constant, then there is the ever changing light.

This post is about dandelions. It’s all about the same subject, but we constantly change our perspective, going from a distanced view on a spring meadow all the way down into the wonderful world of macro photography.

See these two images? I didn’t recognize it until I saw them side by side in the thumbnail view in my SmugMug galleries. In reality they were shot basically at the same place, hills to the south of Klagenfurt, but they were certainly not side by side. We got there when, just for the sake of it, we followed a small country road that we had never used before. It began rather unpromising and grew interesting later, making me completely forget the light rain. The two images were shot with the Sigma 30/1.4.

When was this? Oh yes, Saturday. It’s now Thursday, the first of May, public holiday in Austria, the weather outside is just as it was on Saturday, and I write about images that I have processed yesterday on the train.

Last weekend was ideal for photographing dandelions. Now, only some days later, the first of them have already had their metamorphosis into white balls of feather, but then it was sprinkled yellow all over the place. Vienna, as you have seen in “559 – Obeisance” is already a week or two beyond, but that’s normal, as Carinthia is higher and encircled by mountains.

Later in the afternoon long after the rain had stopped, the sun came out, and I mounted the Sigma 20/1.8, a marvelous wide-angle macro lens, grabbed a towel and went out into the garden, trying to capture the flowers from a very low perspective. We also see a progression here from normal to very shallow depth of field, and this all culminates in the Image of the Day, shot from extremely near and wide open at f1.8. For this last image, shown at the top of this post, the front lens must almost have touched the flower. The world is fractal. If you think you’ve seen everything there is, just get nearer and dive into the wonder of a world that you can’t see but through a camera.

The Song of the Day is “How Many Worlds” from Brian Eno’s great 2005 album “Another Day on Earth“. Check it out, it may not be everybody’s taste, but it’s well worth it. Also hear the song on YouTube.

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